July 20, 1969: “One small step…”


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An evening pause: In honor of the fiftieth anniversary.

Neil Armstrong takes the first steps on the Moon. Note his focus is almost entirely on describing what he sees and experiences. He is doing this for two reasons, first to provide knowledge of the Moon to the world, and second to provide engineers as much information as possible for future missions.

This focus explains why the first thing he does is to get a contingency rock sample, just in case they need to leave the Moon quickly.

Note also that when Buzz Aldrin joins Armstrong on the surface, he is as professional and calm, proving that the way he has been portrayed by some recent movies as as undisciplined jerk is simply a slander. He would not have been picked for this mission if he really behaved that way.

He wanted to be the first, and lobbied to get that chance. After the decision was made he got down to work to make the mission a success.

For a different view of these same events, watch this video.

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One comment

  • Patrick

    Hear, hear. Heroes Gus Grissom and Buzz Aldrin have been wronged, both in print and on the screen, for the expedient of a tad extra “dramatic conflict” to make heroes John Glenn and Neil Armstrong look more heroic. The fact of which only highlights the shortcomings of imagination, talent, and respect for the audience of the writers who did the deed.

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