It was the greatest accomplishment of the human race and the culmination of ten years’ work by half a million people when the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander touched down on the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969. Cheering echoed around the globe and after countless millennia of dreaming about it, people were setting foot on another world.
Experts soon predicted that NASA would send people to Mars by the mid1980s. That there’d be lunar colonies before the turn of the century. These were even vividly depicted in the classic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
But something else happened. The final three lunar landings Apollos 18, 19, and 20 were canceled by President Nixon. And while there was talk over the subsequent years of going back someday, plans were never adequately funded. The most recent program was finally axed by President Obama in his first term. If anyone will ever walk on the moon again, they will not likely be blasting off from the United States.
It’s now 45 years later. Twothirds of today’s Americans weren’t even alive when Neil Armstrong made his “One small step” announcement. Yet the sheer magic and complexity of that accomplishment marks its date as more significant than the building of the Panama Canal or the Great Wall of China. It was our finest moment.
Slooh will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing with an amazing highdefinition lunar broadcast on Sunday, July 20th starting at 5:30 PM PDT / 8:30 PM EDT / 00:30 UTC (7/21) International Times: http://goo.gl/pUHQih. Slooh will broadcast the event live from a special feed located in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Viewers can watch the event unfold free on Slooh.com. The image stream will be accompanied by discussions led by Slooh host, Geoff Fox, Slooh astronomer, Bob Berman, Slooh Observatory Engineer, Paul Cox, along with numerous special guests, including documentary filmmaker, Duncan Copp, and science journalist, Andrew Chaikin. Viewers can follow updates on the show by using the hashtag #SloohApollo11.
The panel will explore a wide range of topics, including not well known stories about the Apollo program and the numerous conspiracy theories about the landing.
Says Berman, “A disconcerting minority of Americans think the Moon landings were a hoax, even though this can be decisively rebutted in thirty seconds. And wild, stilllargely
unknown secrets surround that first mission, including humorous mishaps that did not come to light until much later, that were personally revealed to me by Buzz Aldrin. Our panel and our viewers are going to have a lot of fun during this live program commemorating Apollo 11 while we watch the fat waning crescent Moon look amazing through telescopes located in Dubai.”
On the night of July 20th, the Moon will not rise until well after midnight, local time. Happily, Slooh’s feed in Dubai is located in a time zone which allows the telescopes to image the Moon in the first half of the night for the United States and Canada.