Hello again, y’all.
On this day in 1969, Apollo 11 made history as the world watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take the first human steps on another celestial body (special shoutout to Michael Collins — you’re a really rad dude as well). Congratulations to the crew, to Mission Control here in HTX, and everyone else who made this dream a reality.
Earlier today as I was filling out loads and loads of paperwork (more on that soon), I listened to NPR on my Walkman — yes, I mean that ancient thing from the 1980s — and the conversation for today was about the legacy of the Apollo Program here in Houston, the future of space exploration, and the next “moonshot” for Houston.
Among answers were curing cancer, going to Mars, and being the world’s leader in renewable energy, all excellent objectives. Houston, let’s make it happen !!
In other news, NASA JPL is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Viking I’s landing on Mars today. Viking I was the first spacecraft to land on the Red Planet successfully and was sent on a two-part mission to Mars, where it searched for signs of life. While the Viking Mission did not find life on Mars, it did provide a great deal of information on the planet’s topography and atmospheric composition.
Speaking of JPL, I’d also like to congratulate them on successfully getting the Juno spacecraft into orbit around Jupiter. This mission will expand our knowledge on Jupiter’s evolution, composition, magnetic fields, and natural satellites; much of what we know about the largest planet in the Solar System can be traced back to the Voyager Mission.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Voyager Mission and the team behind it, I wold highly recommend The Interstellar Age by Jim Bell. I finished reading it in May, and I was endlessly fascinated by every detail behind the mission: technology, images, people, discoveries — Bell recounts it all. *