Over four decades ago, on July 20th, 1969, America watched fascinated as astronaut Neil Armstrong leapt onto the surface of the moon. This was the very first time any human had made contact with the moon, albeit Armstrong did so with the help of a spacesuit. It was a victory for the nation and triumphant occasion for the entire human race.
Everyone has a different way of remembering the ‘mooniversary,’ or the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Some people celebrate with parties or events, others simply share their stories and relive the nostalgia of that intense and exciting day.
But Al Kuhn and Manny Cherkas of Palo Alto, CA remember the moon landing with fond memories that are distinctly mixed with pangs of anxiety.
Houston, Do We Have a Problem?
Kuhn and Cherkas, both retired aeronautical engineers, know a bit more than the average Joe about spaceflight and what needed to happen to keep the astronauts safe during their mission to the moon. While many people celebrated the incredible fact that Armstrong actually walked on the moon, Kuhn and Cherkas were more worried about their flight back home to Earth.
“They only had one chance to take off,” Cherkas said, referring to the trip back home. “If [the ship] doesn’t start, you stay on the Moon.”
Kuhn thinks back to how proud everyone who worked on the Apollo 11 ship was, and says, “I remember one gentleman who had a minor job to do…he installed the hooks for the astronauts to hang their hammocks on when they napped. And he was as proud as everyone else on the project.”
Celebrating Apollo 11 in 2013
In today’s modern and digital age, some people celebrate the mooniversary a bit differently. Like, for example, tweeting about it on Twitter. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chris Hadfield, and ESPN Radio’s Matt Markus all had some pretty unique tweets in remembrance of that fateful moment back in 1969.
While the 44th anniversary of anything may seem like a peculiar number to celebrate, people all over the nation still find time to appreciate this occasion, whether it’s with a big event, a small get-together with friends, or even a witty social media post.
However you decide to celebrate Apollo’s moon landing and Armstrong’s moon-walk, just make sure you find your own way pay tribute to the amazing fact that humans have actually made it to the moon.