40 years ago today, I was a toddler living in southwest Michigan with a second birthday coming up. My first recollection of our nation's space program was watching the APOLLO-SOYUZ
linkup as an almost-seven-year-old waiting in a hospital lobby in Jacksonville, Florida for my 2nd major ear surgery.
The APOLLO 11
landing was the culmination of an ambitious vision
laid out by President Kennedy some seven years prior -- a speech asking imponderable questions like "Why climb the highest mountain?" and "Why does Rice play Texas?"
While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin deserve all of the accolades of being the first humans to walk on another celestial body, my personal hero is Michael Collins
: the pilot of the Command Module COLUMBIA
and designer of the mission patch who could only watch from above as his two colleagues' names became forever etched in the nation's memory.
And why was he stuck in the Command Module? One reason: to perform unscheduled maintenance.
That, and his personal disdain for geology.
Congratulations to the entire crew of APOLLO 11
for inspiring our world, and making the Universe seem just a little bit smaller!
Labels: history, innovation, science