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Desc:We did this. If we go extinct tomorrow.. we still did this.
Category:Science & Technology, Nature & Places
Tags:moon, buzz aldrin, holy shit, apollo, Neil Armstrong
Submitted:Syd Midnight
Date:05/30/08
Views:2455
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Comment count is 60
Cleaner82
We're pretty crazy little tool-building hypermonkeys eh?
Syd Midnight
A long strange road from wielding a tree branch to bouncing gaily on the lunar surface, but at least we could tell the other animals on earth "Hey dudes, we finally did it. We made it off this rock. Terrestrial mammilian life has gone ON TOUR."

Syd Midnight
How was this not here? Well, that's fixed now.

If humanity dies out and disappears, at least we made it off the planet. That's something.

I cannot imagine what it was like to watch this happen live. We'll never do anything like this again. We can land on Mars, colonize the solar system.. but unless we get a human to another star (we wont), we'll never have a moment like this again.

The flag was jury-rigged out of a telescoping car antenna. Officially there was to be no flag, because that would be insensitive. But NASA asked the astronauts to bring one as a "personal item", it's a cheap Made in China flag with a radio antenna from a junkyard to hold it out that one of the guys put together one evening. Probably Buzz.

Yeah, planting the US flag there was a bit of a dick move, but seriously.. if you want to go take it down, you're more than welcome. It's fair.. and it's not so much "USA we own the moon motherfuckers" as "Your pal the USA, that loveable superpower, was here.".
j lzrd / swift idiot
Oh, we can go to other stars, fuck yeah we can, we've got our imagination, we've already figured out that's where we should go. No good reason we won't find a way. The Light of Humanity isn't dead yet; sputtering is NOT dead. Red Giant Sol is still a LOOOONG way off, barring any nasty shit that hits the planet before then.

We still have hope, don't we? Don't you? Oh please, tell me you aren't fatalistic about Earth and our brainy monkey selves, Syd; I don't want to know if you really think Homo Sapiens has an expiration date, even if it's a vague time in the future.

Why can't whatever descends from mankind NOT end up spreading and living generation upon generation, on geologic timescales, in every corner of space not occupied?

Syd Midnight
I hope they will. I'm not optimistic about us making it that far, but at least we have a fighting chance. This was the first step.

I don't think we'll be around much longer, but even if we aren't, we made it to another world. We stood upright on a world not our own. If we ever survive, ever spread.. it all started there. One small step, one giant leap.

I'd not give good odds on us going any further, but if we DO.. how great is it to be alive at the same time as people who walked on another world. I'm not as hopeful as you, but we share the same genuine sense of awe. May we travel further!

j lzrd / swift idiot
As they say Syd, "Stay Tuned."

Eventually, we're gonna find a way to just fucking tear the fabric of reality apart if we have to, if only to get further away from this Crib/Rock/Star.

It's gonna suck like moving away from Mom, but it's gotta be done. Now enough of that.


Syd Midnight
Oh I'd have been totally on his side if he'd given that speech instead of "Lets all just not have sex for a while, for EVOLUTION."

j lzrd / swift idiot
We fucking did it. We fucking did it goddammit. And for one small moment in time, we all realized what we did, regardless of where we were or what we were doing. People cried.

I can only compare world-changing, iconoclastic events like this to things from my time, like the fall of the Berlin Wall, or waking up 7 years ago in September to hear the whole damn world has changed.

So, first, I can't believe this isn't a dupe, second, the first asshole who even THINKS of making a conspiracy joke instead of honestly reflecting on the achievements of mankind gets a verbal boot to the teeth.

j lzrd / swift idiot
"It's always you Tyson; it's always you."

Repomancer
I remember watching it live when I was a little kid. It was a really amazing vibe. Those guys were so kickass. NASA lost something in the following years (besides money) but that doesn't take anything away from pulling this off. It all progressed so fast, too. They did in months what would take decades of planning, nowadays.
Syd Midnight
I think they were willing to die. Nixon had a whole speech, in his pocket, to read if they died in the landing. It's a fucking tearjerker.

I think we lost that crazy edge.. NASA gets so little funding, and a 1% failure rate is terrifying.

Makes me think about some news article where Russia proposed a manned Mars mission that could be done now with the NASA budget. Their idea is to make it a 1-way mission, which trims off 90% of the cost and complexity. Cosmonauts and astronauts all say "Hell yeah I'd do it", but that's just unacceptable.

My Dad said that back in the 60s, you KNEW the astronauts by name. They were a select few, they were heroes, they risked their lives and sometimes died because that was their job. They lined up for 50/50 death missions. We don't have those anymore. It's expected to become safe and routine.. no "Col. Smith will get launched to Mars to die, because real explorers are that badass!" or "We'll put 10 people on the moon, we expect 5 to die, but the other 5 will be motherfucking colonists."

We don't NOT do this because the astronauts are unwilling. It's all the rest of us who are scared.

Syd Midnight
ps. Nixon's speech, if they had died:

"These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice. These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding. They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man. In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood. Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts. For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind."

Imagining Nixon delivering this on TV just.. tears me up. Odds were in favor of that happening.

j lzrd / swift idiot
Holy fuck Syd. Source something next time you do that, I want to see it too.

Syd Midnight
He never GAVE that speech of course, but he had it handy, because he didn't expect them to make it back. Really, the odds were against them.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/390634.stm

If they'd crashed, landed awkwardly, died, whatever.. he'd have gone before the world on live TV and delivered that speech. In private I'm sure he'd say "Those sons of bitches dying up there was the best thing to happen to the Presidency", but Nixon soberly delivering that speech would have been a moment that the whole world would remember forever. Maybe the greatest US presidential moment ever.

Heh, Neil and Buzz sure knew it was a possibility. In leaving the lander someone broke a crucial engine switch with their foot. When they were doing the final liftoff checkout, Buzz noticed that there was no knob left on a vital switch. He and Neil looked at each other, and exchanged a novel full of thoughts in one look.. then Buzz pulled apart a pen and used it as a replacement switch.. it worked fine. But he and Neil had that one moment where they thought.. nahh, astronauts are not trained to think about death, they're trained to solve problems. But they did both for a moment.

It says a lot that the most historic achievement in human exploration is not believed by many people, maybe even most. It's just that in-fucking-credible.

Desidiosus
Yes, but humanity's always had to face death in the name of exploration. You don't sail across an ocean in a rickety wooden ship and expect to be home for tea. You don't go off to map Antarctica thinking the breeze may be a bit chilly. People who do these things know it may cost them their lives but they do it anyway to advance knowledge.

What we're going through right now is just a bubble. In the long run, I think this sort of spirit will emerge again.

j lzrd / swift idiot
Let's pray you're right, Desi.

j lzrd / swift idiot
I'm reminded of the old Mountain Climber's cliche.

"So why did you do it?"

"BECAUSE IT WAS THERE."

Twitch
I remember the first time I walked around on the moon. It was a cool October morning back in '42 and the rays of Sun's son, Sunny, had just crested along the backshore of the hyperbole that would later become Justice. Developing slower than the tits of a non-meat eating six year old, my SuperAIDS had just started to kick in (this was after they decided AIDS was not only 'not such a bad thing' but actually cured cancer. Funny story, that one. Just remember this date: May 29, 1023. Thanks.)
Syd Midnight
Psychosis doesn't count. Anyone can do that. Hell, I've been to other universes on DXM. Doing that kinda shit for REAL.. now that takes the kinda guts you can't fake or chemically induce.

Sorry you can't comprehend triumph. And good luck with that AIDS.

j lzrd / swift idiot
BUZZ ALDRIN IS GOING TO COME TO YOUR DOORSTEP AND PUNCH YOU IN YOUR MEWLING LITTLE FAGGOTY MOUTH. SEVEN DAYS.

Jimmy The Headless Frog Boy
They went an incredible distance, but did not go very far.

http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/A11vsMLB.gif

As a little kid I saw the landing live, But I have more vivid memories of watching Walter Cronkite do the liftoff coverage.

I remember watching the time to lift off clock, with one and a half hours to go, and sitting transfixed in front of the TV. You could not have dragged me and my astronaut G.I. Joe away from the set!
Blaise
Seriously, you guys don't see the wires?
asian hick
*This* is why I'm proud of my country.
fluffy
Fuck country, it makes me proud of my species.

asian hick
and my species.

Lurchi
The best book about this is "Of a Fire on the Moon" by Norman Mailer.
StanleyPain
NO STARS UNTIL THEY EXPOSE THE HIDDEN ALIEN/RUSSIAN ALLIANCE BASES CLEARLY HIDDEN IN THAT FOOTAGE IN THE BACKGROUND, BUT SKILLFULLY, FRAME-BY-FRAME, REMOVED IN THE SECONDS PRIOR TO BROADCAST BY NAZI ENGINEERS WHO HAD BEEN DEBRIEFED FROM THOSE VERY SAME ALIEN/RUSSIAN BASES FROM WHICH THE MOTHMEN ARE CREATED.
j lzrd / swift idiot
You forgot "communist gangster computer god frankenstein radio earphone slavery."

Syd Midnight
How could a flag unfurl in a vacuum? Obviously it has ripples, so it must be fake etc etc.. Youtube comments are unusually depressing here.

You can't beat stupid. That's like trying to outbark a dog. The great thing about science is that you don't have to believe in it, it is still there.

"No moon landing" kooks are great, because there's no way you can disbelieve that and not have several other severe forms of retardation. It's tough to believe, true, which is why it's so amazing. Any "moon hoax" site is no more than 2 clicks away from "PURITY OF ESSENCE".

StanleyPain
One of my all-time favorite moon-landing-was-a-hoax arguments that I hear alot of conspiracy-ists is the thing about "THE MOON ROVER COULDN'T POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN TRANSPORTED UP THERE. IT'S TOO BIG!! WHERE DID IT COME FROM!"
When, all you have to do is read the most basic, shitty document/article about the moon rover to learn that it folds up to about the size of a large suitcase and attaches to the bottom of the capsule.

Syd Midnight
Holy Crap.. my dad helped manufacture a part for the lunar rover. Some axle part, they had 5 different tool & die makers make 5 of them to exacting standards.

Dad was scared shitless when they took it out for a spin, as there was a slim but real chance that it could bust an axle and you'd have dead astronauts, and history would say "It was the fault of that one asshole who made the axle". He never knew if it was HIS part on the rover, but he could not relax until they got done using it and blasted off, because if that part busted.. well..

Not much point, but thats about his best story from his career as a tool & die maker.

BHWW
Among the conspiracy theorists I have known, a couple of them were Moon hoax folks, the folks whose primary hobby horse is Moon Hoax nonsense, as opposed to flying saucers or JFK or Truthers...one was a bitter old man who had the room next to mine in a small town apartment building where I lived for eight months. He always had one of his Moon Hoax theory books tucked under his arm and called NASA a bunch of "space gangsters and cheats".

There aren't enough of Buzz Aldrin's fists in the world to punch these people in the face with.


oogaBooga
"communist gangster computer god frankenstein radio earphone slavery."

Where is this from? Tis an easter egg piece of dialogue in a game I love dearly (Myth II: Soulblighter), but where is it from originally? (dont say google I like hearing you talk j lzrd)

j lzrd / swift idiot
:D I AM GLAD YOU ASKED MR. BOOGA! ALLOW ME TO LINK YOU TO THE MOST AWESOME LIVE RADIO-READING OF A NEW YORK CITY SCHITZOFRENIC'S FLYERS POSTED ON TELEPHONE POLES!

FRANCIS E. DEC, ESQUIRE!!

http://www.bentoandstarchky.com/dec/intro.htm

THE RANTS ARE HERE!!

http://www.ubu.com/sound/dec.html

Gojira1000
This is my first truly clear memory of childhood, lying on the linoleum between the rows of chairs occupied by all our neighbors in utter silence, watching this live.

Really, nothing else has ever been remotely close.
Syd Midnight
That's the kinda story I want to hear. Post it on Poe News please.. we need greybeards to tell us just how it felt for the world to watch a human step onto the Moon.

The fucking MOON. Jesus Christ. And in 1960-fucking-9 no less.. theres a lot of pointless LJ that will get laughed at, but I swear to God, describing what it was like to watch the moon landing with your family will NOT be laughed at, unless it's some real high class comedy.

Were you old enough to realize that they'd probably die? Or young enough to just be stunned by your family's awe? Holy crap make with the Apollo stories on P_N for all us young'uns.

j lzrd / swift idiot
What Syd said, good sir.

There's a way to access your own account, and add to a forum which consists exclusively of people's usernames.

If you ever feel like telling us about childhood before VCRs and cellphones, or what it was like watching CNN in 1991 as an adult instead of an 11 year old who didn't know what night vision or tracer rounds were. Do those steath jetplanes still amaze you with their geometry, like veritable human-made flying saucers?

oswaldtheluckyrabbit
This and dropping the nukes are the poles of human achievement
j lzrd / swift idiot
Well, I suppose technically we visited the moon in peace more times than we nuked Japan in anger...

j lzrd / swift idiot
Also, I prefer the terms "zenith" and "nadir"

altamont
I first saw this as a kid in the company of my grandmother, who was 15 years old at the time of Kitty Hawk. She was born just a year or so after Daimler invented the modern gasoline engine. From the automobile to the moon in a single lifetime: mind-blowing.
j lzrd / swift idiot
God bless the 20th Century:

From Steam to Petrol, Giant Fucking Fires and Earthquakes in 'Frisco, the Dissemination of Jazz, the Attempt at Prohibition, the Rise and Eventual Decline and Fall of Organized Crime, the Dust Bowl, the Roaring 20's, Black Tuesday, the Depression, the Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, Pearl Harbor, the Lusitania, Submarines, Vietnam, Korea, the USSR, the Cold War, Cuba, J.F.K, M.L.K, the Simpsons, Brittany Spears, 9/11...

Lord only knows what this next century will do to us, besides making 20th Century Fox into a historic footnote.

boner
There is way cooler stuff on Earth left to explore especially in the ocean and even our own DNA but nothing has the Moon's mystique.
Xenocide
We came in peace for all mankind.

Fuck yes.
Rafiki
Syd Midnight is a sentimental drunk.
j lzrd / swift idiot
What Rafiki, no shout-out for me?

BHWW
We were supposed to have colonies up there by now...dammit we really dropped the ball on that. The future turned out to suck so much. No flying cars, no moon colonies...oh but we have Ipods and THE INTERNET...big whoop.
Spoonybard
FAKE
Ersatz
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG1SVKipKZE
Big Beef Burritos Supreme
It's blatantly a set on Mars.
Camonk
Okay, guys, come down. Yeah, it was pretty cool and all but it was going on 40 years ago. Just... settle down.

I'm kidding. This is so amazing. The people who tried this and did this are some of the best of us.
Hooper_X
A: This is pretty much the crowning achievement of our histrionic, schizophrenic little species.

B: We're still a grain of sand on the beach of the universe.

C: A grain of sand whose other major achievement was discovering a way to kill everyone on the planet in a matter of hours.

Go us.
kingarthur
I think our species has a lot of stuff to be damn proud of. We developed writing and then the press and now the Internet. We figured out shelter and turned it into buildings. We figured out modern medicine. Modern plumbing. Electricity. Refrigeration. Music. Abstract mathematics and geometry. We got people into space. We got people on the moon. Fuck, we produced somebody as badass as Buzz Aldrin.

That, in a nutshell, is my reason for hating conspiracy theorists on topics such as pyramids and the moon landing and alien breeding. How dare they be so stupid as to belittle us like that? What a shame for our self-worth.

Syd Midnight
We made it off of this dirtball planet. Even if it was temporary, we did that. That's amazing. That's bigtime. We can nuke ourselves and die or whatever, but damn.. no dinosaur, Bible Hero, or virus managed to purposefully visit another world then come home.

That's cool, man. Plus they did it with vacuum tubes and shit.

Monchiles Monchiles
Tell the moon to quit messing with our oceans.
Caminante Nocturno
In the name of the Moon, I will punish you!
Keefu
They cut out the part where they fight Zeromus
sparklefatty

In a machine that could have blown up at any moment, assembled of parts made by the lowest bidders.

NASA wanted pilots with confirmed combat kills. Neil and Buzz both had shot down MIGs over Korea.
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