15 July 2019
It would be fair to say that 1969 was an extraordinary year. The Beatles played their final performance, whilst Led Zepplin released their debut album. The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet took its maiden flight. Brit Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to complete a solo, round-the-world sailing race. The Stonewall Riots changed LGBTQ+ rights forever.
It was also the year in which Neil Armstrong became the very first person to walk on the surface of the moon, uttering those unforgettable words: “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Half a century ago, man walked on the moon. It is still absolutely astonishing.
As we move towards the anniversary of those famous steps this week, it seems the entire planet is looking back on that day and what it still means for the future of space travel and habitation of the moon or other planets.
A little while ago, I interviewed Brit astronaut Tim Peake for an episode of the Mind Your Own Business podcast. Throughout the chat, which you can listen to today, Peake speaks of the realities of space travel and pushing your body and technology to its limits.
Listening to him speak, it is almost impossible to comprehend travelling ten times the speed of a bullet, looking down on the Earth and seeing 16 sunrises and sunsets every single day.
There’s no wonder people thought that the moon landing was faked! It certainly seems more science fiction than fact, particularly when you consider that we’ve not even got close to repeating the landing in the 50 years since.
I had to ask Peake what he thought about the moon landing conspiracy theorists. His response quelled any of my doubts:
“There is so much evidence out there that a lot of the time these people need to make their own conclusions, I could tell them until they’re blue in the face that the moon landings happened. We have laser reflectors on the moon that we’re currently using. During the Apollo Mission one of their earliest tasks was to place reflectors on the surface of the moon, so that you can shine a laser beam off the surface of the moon in order to accurately determine the moon’s distance from earth.
“We have satellites in lunar orbit that have taken very detailed pictures of the Apollo landing site, of the lunar buggy, the footprints are still there, the vehicles are still there, the landers are still there.”
I am excited to share this episode of the podcast today. Give it a listen and let me know what you think. I can guarantee that you will find it absolutely fascinating.