The Apollo 11 Moon Landing

(Guardian Comments) – David Smith:

Michael Collins, 88, Apollo 11 command module pilot, made a striking point. From more than 200,000 miles away, Earth’s national borders don’t matter any more. They are artificial and arbitrary, a human construction. If presidents and prime ministers could enjoy such a view, the astronaut noted, they would probably struggle to identify their own countries.

It’s an argument reminiscent of astronomer Carl Sagan: “The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.”

There was political turmoil in the US and the Vietnam war was raging, but the moon landing drew more people together, watching on TV and listening on radios, than any previous event in human history. And when the three pioneers came home, they and their wives embarked on an exhausting goodwill tour to 24 countries and 27 cities in 45 days. …

theguardian 2019/jul/20 apollo-11

Earthrise, by Apollo 8 on 1968-12-24

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