37 years ago today: The Moon


Thirty seven years ago today, on July 20, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong became the first man ever to walk on the Moon. (You can quibble and say it was July 21 by Universal Time (a.k.a. Greenwich Mean Time), but I’m an American, and to me as a child it happened on July 20.

In any case, I have two things to post that are of interest on this anniversary of the first Moon landing. First, here’s an über-cool website that allows you to view a panoramas of the Moon made up of high resolution photos from the original missions digitally stitched together from photos taken during original lunar landings, complete with sound files of the astronauts’ banter. I had never seen such high resolution digital photos from the moon landing before.

Second, I can’t help but point out that there was more to the first Moon landing than you may have thought. Indeed, there was someone involved with it whose role hasn’t always been appreciated and indeed has even been shrouded in mystery:

i-f96e2f63791f40594f667ae987c7754d-EneMan 200607a.jpg

I bet the EneManiacs out there thought that I had forgotten about our mascot’s usual monthly appearance (although perhaps interest in our mascot has waned a bit, as evidenced by the lack of “Where is EneMan?” e-mails this month). I suspect that now you understand why I waited three weeks.

That EneMan sure gets around, doesn’t he?


  1. #1 decrepitoldfool
    July 20, 2006

    Those panoramas are incredibly cool. It must have taken them forever to get the sound-stage pictures from the faked moon landing to connect so perfectly. They look just like pictures from a real place. 😉

  2. #2 Mark Paris
    July 20, 2006

    Thanks for the link. The panoramas are incredible.

  3. #3 Urinated State of America
    July 20, 2006

    Hah! We all know there was no so-called Moon Landing because, there is in, fact, no Moon:


  4. #4 Julie Stahlhut
    July 20, 2006

    I watched the moon landing as a not-quite-13-year-old in Connecticut. At that moment and ever since, I’ve envied not Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin, but Michael Collins, who had a brief experience of solitude like nothing any human had known before. I would imagine that it must have been both terrifying and exhilarating; I consider Collins as much a pioneer as were his two crewmates.

  5. #5 TheBrummell
    July 20, 2006

    Looking at the EneMan picture, something occurred to me:

    Wouldn’t the pressure differential across the suit – from inside to the outside tip of the, er, applicator – drive EneMan’s contents out into space? Just how tight is his sphincter?

    The fact that he’s not spewing, uh, contents, out of the tip in that picture indicates he has a firm appreciation for not allowing fluid up his backside. There’s an irony there, surely.

    Also, he appears to be in a rather low Earth-orbit, rather than being on or even very close to the moon. A rocket-backpack thing (I forget what they’re really called) of the type he’s wearing would be unnecessary and probably very cumbersome were he actually walking on the moon.

    I’m think I accidentally activated “nitpick” mode sometime this morning.

  6. #6 Eric Gunnerson
    July 20, 2006

    Not only was eneman involved, he (he?) also has time-travel powers, which he uses to teleport the shuttle-era MMU and suit back to 1969.

  7. #7 Brent McKee
    July 20, 2006

    And while we’re at it how about a shout out to the much maligned “space pen”. NASA did not spend millions developing a pen that could write in space while the Russians used pencils, it was created by a private inventor (Paul Fisher) who manufactured them as Fisher Space Pens, and if the Apollo 11 astronauts didn’t have one they’d still be on the surface of the moon. While ejecting some unneeded equipment from the LM before take-off they managed to break off the switch that started the ascent engine. They used the casing of a space pen to turn the switch, something they couldn’t have done if they’d had pencils.

  8. #8 TheProbe
    July 21, 2006

    Another good URL is http://www.moon.google.com. Go in real close…

  9. #9 Flea
    July 21, 2006

    Thanks for the reminder, Orac. I was only 5 at the time, but I remember that entire week like it was yesterday (the scrapbook I kept helps jog the memories too!)



  10. #10 Flea
    July 21, 2006

    Thanks for the reminder, Orac. I was only 5 at the time, but I remember that entire week like it was yesterday (the scrapbook I kept helps jog the memories too!)



  11. #11 Kiwiwriter
    July 24, 2006

    I remember my mother waking my brother and I up at 10 p.m. to see this event. We were somewhat puzzled, but Mom explained the significance of it. I vaguely remember seeing the fuzzy black-and-white footage of Armstrong and Aldrin bounding around on the moon, and Chet Huntley and Dave Brinkley discussing it.

  12. #12 aredo
    August 25, 2006

    Venus, Mars are far from dead planets with no life. That’s what the ones controlling the truth and hiding it since before Hitler and the Nazi want humanity to believe.

    Take a look at the censored low-quality images of Saturn “satellites” that NASA has made public, they look way more artificial than the Moon. We can only wonder if the same alien race built them or there are more races in Solar System, as it seems highly likely that there are.

    Tethys (anomalous features on the surface…):

    Rosy Tan Moon (just a simple rock in space? Or a camouflaged giant spaceship maybe…) :

    Three Moons Meet (Anomalous behaviour of three Saturn’s moons acting like a small planet/moons system per se)

    Mysterious Iapetus (Giant clearly artificial features that make it look like the ‘fictional’ Death Star on StarWars movies…)

    Four Propellers (Propellers of what? Do moons have propellers ? What were they referring to here ? Moons…engines.. yes.. that’s it, or do you really believe that they were writing about something else and natural? Yeah,sure.. )

    To the Relief of Iapetus (another view of anomalous Iapetus features… Death Star…)

    Smooth Surface of Telesto (A bit of digital censoring, maybe the object is camouflaged by itself and what happens? A spaceship looks like a rock… )

    The Great Basin (Tethys… yet another look at the anomalous artificial structures on its surface. Impact basin they say.. all natural, yeah, sure.. look at it.. can’t you see that it’s artificial? Just natural rocks you see there? There is a clearly giant sized thing around the center, just a natural rock due to an impact, uh?)

    Map of Mimas – December 2005 (A giant hexagon on Mimas… does it look natural to you ?)

    Flight to Hyperion (Does it look natural to you? A spaceship in disguise could easily look like this , if the alien race that built it has the technology to creat giant spaceships)

    Up Close to Mimas (Inside the giant crater it’s just a natural thing due to the impact for you? Do you really believe this official statement? )

    Cassini Flies by ‘Death Star’ Moon (Yep! At NASA/JPL sometimes they enjoy trying to make a fool of people with this kinda joke in a hope that no one could notice the fact that there is nothing natural about all of this. Or do you believe that’s it’s just a coincidence? The best way to hide something is to put it in front of someone and make a joke of it in case it could resemble something others know, so no one would question nor notice anything strange nor anomalous about it.. This is what happens here)

    Wavemaker Moon (And.. now.. this is a natural moon, right ? Not a giant spaceship moving there between the rings and disturbing them with its energy propulsion field… right? That would be just fantasy, right? So we are looking at a natural thing, uh? Do you really believe it? Does it look any natural to you?)

    Keep looking at Saturn’s anomalous moons and system overall, although every image is pretty digitally censored before being released to the public by NASA/JPL and the resolution lowered to cell-phone like quality, many artificial anomalous features can still be seen, unless you want to be a gullable guy and accept the official statements and claims that there is nothing artificial to look at, there are no aliens, it’s all fictional and we are the only ones in the Solar System…

  13. #13 Graham Hesketh and Fiona Mont
    August 28, 2006

    I suppose anyone who doubts the moon landings took place are communists?
    I am looking forward to seeing the photographs from the space teliscope of the lunar landing sites.

  14. #14 Graham Hesketh
    November 24, 2006

    Nobody has EVER landed on the MOON.
    NASA could not land a man on the moon today. They do not have the ability or the technology.
    Neil Armstrong and richard Nixon conspired together.

  15. #15 Graham Hesketh
    November 24, 2006

    If Osama Bin Laden claimed to put a moslim on the moon I would not belive him either.

  16. #16 Brendan
    November 30, 2006

    As far as those pictures having their resolution lowered, that’s nonsense. Cassini’s cameras actually output data like that. I work with these images on a daily basis, and I can tell you her cameras are pretty low res. MRO’s HiRISE camera on the other hand. . . I’ll see if I can’t find a link somewhere, or some way of showing you the 250MB images we’ve got of Mars. There’s no “anomalous features” I’ll tell you that much.

  17. #17 Nix
    December 10, 2006

    Ah, but you see, Brendan, as someone who works with those images daily, you’re obviously Part Of The Conspiracy and can’t be trusted.

    (Sheesh. If S2005/S1 really *was* a `giant spacecraft’ NASA would be making *enormous* amounts of noise about it. Proof of alien life in the Solar System would guarantee huge increases in NASA’s budget for decades. The chances of a seamless conspiracy holding for this long are, well, nil, even if our governments were competent conspirators, which they are plainly not. Right in the middle of the time when this `conspiracy’ was allegedly at its height, the President of the US was unable to keep secret a dirty little criminal conspiracy in which *he was directly involved*. What’s the chance of a vastly larger one holding?)

  18. #18 ruth
    February 1, 2008

    i wish i could land on the moon and also wish that the moon was a big ball of icecream and i would even live there well what about you?

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