I never ever dreamed of being an astronaut like other little boys, and now I have seen this rather enthralling 2007 documentary about the race to put a man on the moon, I know I would have failed on so many counts. It turns out that these early space pioneers were expected to design their rockets, then help build them before having to don on those cumbersome suits and be crammed into a tiny cockpit like sardines in a can to get the thing to actual take off. And there was I thinking when Buzz Aldrin stepped out on to the moon’s surface way back in 1969, how very glamorous and exciting it was all. After watching the David Singleton’s movie I have so re-thought the glamour angle, but will readily admit that I am still in awe of what a thrilling achievement it all was.
Back in the midst of the Cold War in 1961 President Kennedy’s famous speech to Congress declaring his goal of putting a man on the moon, was probably more about maintaining a superiority over the USSR than trumpeting advancing scientific achievements. The reasons why the President ensured that NASA got the funding to get the Apollo Program up and flying is maybe a tad irrelevant now, and whatever his motives were, it was his political force that made it happen. It seems rather a sad reality that he was no longer around to see his dream realized.