That’s Neil Armstrong there, pointing skyward, standing with fellow astronauts Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. The three of them represent the crowning achievement of NASA’s space flight program: a successful trip to lunar orbit, and from there, the lunar surface. Forty years ago today, two men decamped from that lander, and they walked the surface of another world. They left behind a flag and a plaque that said “we came in peace for all mankind.”
I might be a bit of a nerd for saying this, and it’s just fine if you mock me, but this is the kind of stuff that gets me all misty. Today, if you see them around town (they’ll be at the White House today), ask them about the view from the moon to the Earth. You’ve seen the pictures, but they saw it live, through their own faceplates.
Their command module sits in the Air and Space Museum on the Mall, to remind us what we could do just 66 years after inventing human flight: land on another world. Take a look at Samer Farha’s set from yesterday’s event at NASM, and wonder: Will we go further than that day 40 years ago?
I do hope so.