When I was a kid, I read this cool book from National Geographic called Let's Go To The Moon. It was, as you may have figured out, all about the Apollo program, but mostly focused on Apollo 11.
I already liked science fiction and astronomy (well, the little-kid-without-a-telescope version of astronomy, which was mostly limited to finding constellations and planets, but we all have to start somewhere) so I spent a lot of time with that book, imagining what it would be like to fly to the moon, walk around on it, and come home.
This week is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, and I've found a few things that I thought I'd share, if for no other reason than 9-year-old me would think they're cool:
SomaFM has a really cool station Mission Control:
Mission Control will feature ambient space music that's somewhere
between Space Station Soma and Drone Zone, mixed with NASA audio. In
the future, we'll have other historical space exploration rebroadcasts
as well as live Space Shuttle coverage.
Did you see the LRO photos of the Apollo mission sites?
I'm kind of Pink Floyd super fan number one, but I didn't know that the band was invited by BBC to improvise a soundtrack to the moon landing. Can you imagine something like that happening today? If it had been post-Meddle, I bet they'd just have played some epic version of Echoes.
We Choose The Moon is the kind of multimedia experience I always hoped the Internet would provide, back in the olden days when digital watches were a pretty neat idea.
In one of the more clever uses of Twitter that I've seen, there are three Twitter accounts recreating the mission communications: @AP11_CAPCOM, @AP11_SPACECRAFT, and @AP11_EAGLE.
NASA has newly-released mission audio, restored Apollo 11 video, and a real-time replay of the mission that you can stream online if you have Windows Media Player. Mac and *nix users should be able to use the audio player at We Choose The Moon (powered by Shoutcast, FTW) to hear it. I've been listening to it for almost an hour, and it's more compelling than I expected.
Tor.com is celebrating the Apollo anniversary (and their own) by asking authors, artists, critics, and fans in the science fiction community to
send their stories of what they were doing when the LEM landed on
the lunar surface, and to relate how it informed their relationship
with science fiction. (The blog post I've linked is awesome. You should really go read it.)
Even if you only get a couple of minutes, and you can only look at some of this stuff, I hope you will, and I hope find it as inspiring as I do. To steal a phrase from Torie at Tor:
Every time I look at those images I am moved by the breadth of human
ingenuity. All my cynicism is replaced by a belief that with passion,
hard work, and perseverance, we can overcome any barrier—even the ones
we didn’t know we had set for ourselves. We can achieve any measure of
greatness. We can become our fiction and make our dreams something
We can touch the sky.