By Bjorn CareyPosted 07.20.2009 at 7:29 pm 4 Comments
On the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, it seems like every news outlet worth its weight in regolith is reproducing classic content to put the historic moment in the proper content. Well, here's one Apollo-related news item, printed on July 17th, as Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins were well on their way to the Moon, that I doubt the New York Times wants to draw much attention to today: a retraction of a 1920 article which stated rocket motors couldn't work in the vacuum of space, almost fifty years after the fact.
Possibly the single most influential event in the public's interest in science and technology (not to mention one of humankind's greatest adventures), the Apollo 11 mission touched the collective dreams of millions, while pushing science and technology swiftly forward at an unprecedented pace.
But in the decades since man first walked on the moon, science has advanced so rapidly that technology which even a few years ago might have been considered magic has become commonplace. Even so, it would be naïve to assume that Apollo 11 ever represented science and technology's pinnacle, and that nothing forthcoming will similarly explode the world's collective dreams and perceptions of what it means to be human.
So what's next? What will be the next worldwide event or discovery that fundamentally changes the way we look at ourselves and the universe we live in?
Earthlings can celebrate 40 years since the first lunar landing by planting their virtual boots back on the moon in Google Earth. Or they can just swoop over the 3-D lunar landscape, Superman-style.
Google unveiled the new "Moon in Google Earth" feature today during a press conference in Washington, D.C. Those in attendance included female space tourist Anousheh Ansari, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and NASA officials.
If you haven't yet noticed, today we're celebrating the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, and the first humans to step foot on the moon, which happened at around 4:15 pm EST, July 20, 1969. And in perhaps the world's most fitting use of this particular cliché, Things Have Never Been the Same.