Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ad Astra, Neil Armstrong

"The important achievement of Apollo was demonstrating that humanity is not forever chained to this planet and our visions go rather further than that and our opportunities are unlimited." - Armstrong

 I wrote Neil Armstrong's bio for an encyclopedia once. I couldn't speak to the man himself, but a close associate relayed messages. Ever modest, Armstrong asked that he not appear in the book Notable 20th-Century Scientists at all (a wish I couldn't grant.) He did say he thought his pioneering work with fly-by-wire control systems, not being the moonwalker, was his most important achievement.
He will always be one of my heroes.

In 1969, songwriter John Stewart watched the moonwalk and marveled at the way it drew the whole world together, despite all our troubles:

The rivers are getting dirty

The wind is getting bad

War and hate are killing off

The only earth we have

But the world all stopped to watch it

On that July afternoon

To watch a man named Armstrong

Walk upon the moon

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