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Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON

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.

The narrative in the movie  is threaded together with interviews with Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins … the latter being the ‘forgotten’ crew member who went on that mission but never got to step on the moon’s surface …..along with another 8 astronauts from the space program (6 out of 7 Apollo Missions landed on the moon). They are all articulate and extremely personable men who still seemed somewhat in shock at the magnitude of their achievement. One related that his father who was born the same year the Wright Brothers first flight had claimed that the planned moon venture was a preposterous idea, where his young son on the other hand was totally unfazed by all his father’s spectacular achievement.
It’s a rather wonderful look behind the scenes about one of mankind’s greatest triumphs and the remarkable and rather pragmatic and resourceful brave souls who made it all possible. I have no idea how it ended up in Viewing List, but I am so very pleased it did.

★★★★★★★★


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Posted by queerguru  at  22:25

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