On July 20th 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon. It isn’t a statement that needs any embellishment; it is a soul-stirring feat that hushes humanity into a deep quiet. No adjective particularly does the event justice and remembering it, even for those of us (and there are millions) who weren’t even born seems possible. It’s such a significant occurrence in human history, its emblazoned into the brains of tots and teenagers simply because it happened.
I imagine that next year, on its fiftieth anniversary there will be memorial celebrations like we’ve never seen before but now on the 49th year after Apollo 11’s momentous landing, The JA thought it best to write this little piece.
If ever there was a metaphor for a reason to reach for the stars, it’s this. Only eight years before, Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. This was considered an unstoppable feat and yet in the same decade, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. An example of how human endeavor, when inspired, can conquer all it wishes to.
It’d be a tad reductive to refer to The Cold War Space Race as ‘a bit of healthy competition’! However, it’s still proof of the voracious human desire for progress. Proof that as a species we are not destined to stand still.
Conspiracy theorists can sometimes be guilty of making one giant leap with logic. Such is the case for the theory that the moon landing was faked and filmed by Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey was released a year earlier and presents the most disquieting vision of space seen in cinema and is considered by most as the greatest science fiction film of all time.
The eerily similar images and the suggestion that the landmark events were cynically related undersells both events individually. Technological breakthrough and cinematic innovation are just two illustrations of how the scope of human vision and creativity is endless and multifaceted. It was a brilliant sign of the times, a wondrous coincidental reminder to keep dreaming.
I reckon that innovation is a strange fusion of passion and pragmatism. The Moon Landing and all the humans involved in orchestrating such an event are to be commended because they each demonstrated both of those characteristics. Remembering that day 49 years ago make you feel a familiarly childlike sense of marvel. Our insatiably curious minds are the vehicles for our own odysseys of invention. Let’s all remember to dream!