PBS American Experience: Chasing the Moon _ Anyone watching?

caflowerluver

It was on "July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin (1930-) became the first humans ever to land on the moon ."


It is interesting story about the space program. I remember watching all the launches when I was a kid. I wanted to be an astronaut so much. My brothers teased me and said I never could be because I was a girl and only men could be astronauts. I am glad things changed.


The saddest part was when they talked about the Russians sending dogs into space. What a terrible way to die. There is more information on this on Wiki under her name, Laika. And this article.

Sudnik 2 dog Laika


Just found this: According to Animals In Space by Colin Burgess and Chris Dubbs, the Soviet Union launched dogs into flight 71 times between 1951 and 1966, with 17 deaths. The Russian space program continues to use animals in space tests, but in every case except Laika's, there has been some hope that the animal would survive.Apr 11, 2018

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Elmer J Fudd

A related item i found yesterday:

If any of you recognize the name William Safire, you'll remember him as a self-educated expert in the English language, words and word usage. For many years he had a column On Language in the NY Times.

One position he held (that I won't necessarily forgive him for) was as a speech writer during the Nixon administration. Among his many accomplishments, he created the memorable phrase "nattering nabobs of negativism" that Agnew used to attack critics. Not an honorable task but a great phrase all the same.

Back to the moon, Safire wrote a brief statement for Nixon to read to the press IN THE EVENT he needed to announce that the lunar lander was stranded and unable to return its two astronauts to Earth. Here's an article about it from the Washington Post and a copy of the speech. For me, the first sentence is an unbelievable creation of a genius, simple and very moving. The rest is pretty special too. I hope you like it.



Safire's speech for Nixon, just in case needed.

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caflowerluver

Typo correction: It was meant to be "Sputnik".

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ritaweeda

I've been watching it - not sure why since I'm not a huge fan of space flight but there's nothing else on otherwise. I've found it especially interesting to see the changes in and around Florida which is where I've lived all my life and what an impact the space race had on it. I remember watching when Neil stepped on the moon and thinking "OK let's see some space monsters!". I was a teenager looking for excitement. I had grown up with all the lift-offs most of my young life and didn't think it was such a big deal. Now I think it's awesome what we did in only 10 years. I have worked for the space industry in a very small way in the past and I can't imagine the hours of hard work that went into all that closer to the cape in that decade. Last night they mentioned the fact that Nixon had a speech ready in case it didn't go well, how horrible that would have been if something had happened where they would have been stranded up there.

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blfenton

@elmer J Fudd - Your link goes to the Washington Post which I can't get to, I did find William Safire's speech on another site so I hope you don't mind if I post that link for those who also have trouble getting to the Washington Post. A short speech and as you say, that first line is simple, poignant and yet says so much.

https://watergate.info/1969/07/20/an-undelivered-nixon-speech.html

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Elmer J Fudd

Thanks!

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Bookwoman

I thought it was a very well done documentary. To me the saddest parts were a) the recording of the Apollo 1 astronauts as they perished in the fire and b) the reminder of Operation Paperclip and how many Nazis were brought to work in the US.

Elmer, thanks for the link. I loved Safire's column, despite his previous employment!

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graywings123

Oh, that is beautiful. And I am so glad I am only reading it now.


Reagan's Challenger speech was lovely and touching, but this from Safire is superb in its brevity and simplicity.

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