You know what I’m talking about. Here’s the video:

The Eagle has landed. Holy crap. Excellent driving. Neil.

I love that Armstrong checks to see if it will be possible to get back up the ladder in his space suit before stepping off. Good move. That would have been…interesting…if they could only step onto the moon and not step off of the moon.

That was July 20th, 1969. Where were you? I was in China. You can see me in the video at about 9:10.

Only kidding. I was in Albany, NY glued to the TV. I remember the rug I was sitting on. I remember who was in the room. I remember the blanket that was draped over the couch thingie that wasn’t really a couch.

Comments

  1. #1 Physicalist
    July 20, 2012

    I was in Berkeley. Don’t recall whether I saw it or not; it had been a rough week.

  2. #2 adelady
    July 20, 2012

    I was in the office. A great concession. The powers that be had permitted the unheard of luxury of a TV set in the general office area. Watching with 60 grown men absolutely, silently spellbound was an experience all of its own.

  3. #3 Art
    July 20, 2012

    As I remember it the LEM only has a couple of seconds worth of fuel left as they struggled to find a spot to land on that wouldn’t have the lander at a tilt they couldn’t take off from, flip it entirely on its side, or puncture the skin that is not much thicker than aluminum foil used in the kitchen. Any of those would have left them dead on the moon forever.

    I watched it in school. They were wise, possibly lazy , enough to let us see it on a TV. Real scary stuff. I’m not sure how it would have shook out nationally if they had crashed or holed the craft while everyone watched live. They had a time delay but still … it would have been a crippling blow to the national psyche.

  4. #4 Uncle Glenny
    July 20, 2012

    I would have been at summer camp but may have been home for the weekend; can’t remember exactly. I know I was interested, and got a number of different newspapers for the pictures, which of course all vanished over the years.

  5. #5 SplatterPatterns
    July 20, 2012

    Had returned a few months prior from an army hitch maintaining Nike Herc radars in Germany (having spent Tet on the Rhine) to Huntsville Alabama, just over the hill from Marshall were a few years before Van Braun and buds had been touching-off the occasional F1 engine.

    Greg, you recently posted on the D-day anniversary, now this. I reflect that WW2 was much closer in time to July ’69 than this date is to “one step day”, and note that even with vastly improved communications we in the US seem to have less sense of connection and common purpose. Maybe its because we don’t seem to have barn raisings much anymore.

  6. #6 MadScientist
    July 20, 2012

    It’s still an amazing feat – especially with the technology of the day. The moon has no significant atmosphere so you can’t use tools like parachutes to orient the craft – it all had to be done with rockets and in such a way that you didn’t simply spin out of control etc. Neil Armstrong is a damned good pilot.

  7. #7 Amoeba
    July 21, 2012

    Really impressive flying and with fuel running low, too. Too many people brought up on SF dismiss this blithely with a ‘so-what’ attitude, but it was difficult and even today, landing probes on other planets is not a piece of cake. Lots of things and they all need to go right. Only one failure needed for it all to go wrong.

    Those guys were heroes and immensely brave.

  8. #8 Jim Ramsey
    Tallmadge, Ohio
    July 22, 2012

    I was in my parents bedroom watching the TV. Do you remember when there was only one TV?

    My father worked for Rockwell on part of the Apollo project.

    While Armstrong was stepping down on the moon, talking all the time, I caught a smile on my Dad’s face. I kind of looked a question at him.

    He said, “He’s a good test pilot”. I looked another question.
    He answered, “That’s in case he doesn’t get back”.

  9. #9 CherryBombSim
    July 22, 2012

    Heck, I remember when there was NO TV! (I’m not quite that old, but we were out of range.) By 1969, we had TV, courtesy of a relay tower up in the mountains. I was about 13 years old and watched the whole thing live at home on Edwards AFB. A year or two later, Buzz Aldrin moved in actually across the back yard wall from us, in the same crappy base housing as everybody else.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    July 22, 2012

    You were Buzz Aldrin’s neighbor? Cool!

  11. #11 CherryBombSim
    July 22, 2012

    Greg, it was inevitable because we had the same family size. Housing was distributed on a sorta communistic basis, Officer/enlisted, then number of dependents.