in Musings

Godspeed, Neil Armstrong

The first man on the moon was here

Travis and I were at Durham’s excellent Museum of Life and Science yesterday for his friend Patrick’s birthday party. I had just finished playing with one exhibit where the museum visitor aims a satellite dish to various audio sources, one of which was from July 21st 1969.

“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” crackled the voice of Neil Armstrong from a distance of 43 years and 239,000 miles.

Moments later I learned from my smartphone that Armstrong has rejoined the heavens, having passed away at 82 from complications arising from his recent heart surgery.

I never met the man and wouldn’t know what to do if I had. I probably would’ve been too excited to speak. Armstrong was a “recluse’s recluse” as Dave Garrett, a former NASA spokesman, says. Still, I’ll long remember the thrill I got just by viewing the signature I saw in the guest book of the Lowell Observatory during our visit to Arizona two years ago.

The man who first left his mark on the moon also left it here. Pretty cool.