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RIP Neil Armstrong

 

 

 

 

He might well have died 40 years ago.  Certainly the authorities were worried enough that this sobering speech was drafted for Richard Nixon...

IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER:

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown...

Read the whole thing here.

Thankfully, they came back with stories to tell, and photos to capture our imagination.  To me, this picture is as captivating as any they took.  It's not simply the wonders of space, but wondering at space that should make us stop and think.

RIP Neil Armstrong.

 

3 thoughts on “RIP Neil Armstrong

  1. John B

    Michael Collins was the most relieved of all that Nixon never had to give that speech. There was real doubt about Eagle ever being able to make the return trip to Columbia. As it was, Eagle nearly crashed, and virtually ran out of fuel. What a terrible prospect confronted Collins that he might have to return to earth alone if his crew mates were unable to make it back to the command module. There was no backup plan. John Kennedy had pledged that we would get to the moon by the end of the Sixties, and it took lots of pushing of the envelope to make it by then.

    I love this picture of Armstrong. Buzz Aldrin truly captured for history his commander's spirit with this photo. While on the moon Aldrin himself celebrated Holy Communion. He also claimed territorial jurisdiction of the moon on behalf of his Masonic Lodge.

    Wink at the Moon!

  2. Si Hollett

    James - he did, after all, travel through Deep Heaven by going beyond Sulva (though 6 people had beat him there). Tranquility base, however is aptly named - for it is on the near, tranquil side. "there is cleanness, purity. ... Intellegent life under the surface. A great race... a pure race. They have cleaned their world, broken free (almost) from the organic. ... There are still surface dwellers. One dirty great patch on the far side of her where there is still water and air and forests - yes, and germs and death. [the pure race] are slowly spreading their hygiene over their whole globe. Disinfecting her." (Filistrato in 'That Hideous Strength' 236-237)

    Of course Neil Armstrong saw the green patch on the dark side, and instantly believed Lewis' tale (or is it something about an equally fictional crack and becoming a Muslim?*).

    Neil was our champion - his small step was a giant leap for all of us - and only 11 others made that small step. The "they aren't coming back speech" is full of sacrifice language, but goes on about inspiration, stirring up and so on - nothing about them doing it for mankind, but about what we can do for them.

    *The refutation of this claim that Armstrong had become a Muslim was one of the very rare public comments he made after the moon landing.

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