June 20, 1969 – humans landed on the moon. Full Stop. Period. 50 years ago two American men, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (poor Michael Collins back in the Command Module) set foot on the moon.
In my business as a photographer I am keenly aware of the ability of humans to manipulate images, both still and film. Modern CGI lets movie makers create landscapes and environments that are convincingly real. Programs like the ubiquitous Photoshop let talented editors create images that are nearly impossible to discern as fake.
Yet in 1969, we went to the Moon.
For whatever reason, some humans have this snarky, arms crossed, breath holding, foot stomping “yeah, nah” gene in their chromosomes. No amount of reason or logic will let them see the truth, beginning when they are toddlers. This article will do nothing to sway the breath holders, but for the rest of you, gaze at this photo.
This is a photo taken in 2009 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a satellite in orbit around the moon to do exactly this – document the surface. Those things in the middle are the remains of the Apollo 11 landing site. There it is, including footprints by Armstrong as he sauntered over to the crater nearby to check it out.
All of the other landing sites, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, have been photographed in detail by the LRO as well. Those that would try and say, “yeah but..” are either bullheaded for fun, or willfully stupid. So we will let them be.
50 years ago, we took the computing power of a modern Ring doorbell, some steel, gumption, kerosene, and the efforts of nearly half a million workers, including tens of thousands of actual NASA employees to pull this off. It also cost the lives of the Apollo 1 crew in a test pad fire.
The only question these days is which billionaire tech-bro will be the first to go back and walk up to the Apollo 11 lander to snap a selfie.
Which still won’t convince people..
So on July 20 this year, go look up and be reminded what humans, working TOGETHER, are capable of when driven towards nearly impossible goals. If we can put people on the Moon, there is no social, civic, economic or environmental problem we can’t solve. The above photo is proof.
Now could we get some people on Mars?