"We choose to go to the Moon,..... we choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."
Between 1968 and 1972 NASA sent 24 men to the Moon, out of them 12 walked on the Moon, out of that 12 only 9 are alive. In The Shadow Of the Moon, a documentary about the Apollo astronauts was released on dvd yesterday. I picked it up, watched it and must say it is excellent. There is a lot of rarely seen footage, example, when Neil Armstrong was looking for a smooth place to land the Lunar Module, it shows the capcom (capsule communicator, always an astronaut by the way) on film talking to Armstrong, very cool. There is lots of interesting film, but the main thing are the astronaut's interviews, what comes across very quickly is the profound affect travelling to the Moon had on each of their lifes.
"Science and technology allowed me to go the Moon, but now what I was feeling, at that moment in time, science and technology had no answers. because there I was and there you are, the Earth, so dynamic, overwhelming, I felt the world had too much purpose, too much logic, it was just too beautiful to have happened by accident, there had to be somebody bigger then you , bigger then me, and I mean that in the spiritual sense, not a religious sense, there has to be a creator of the universe who stands above the religions that we ourselves create to govern our lifes."
Gene Cernan, Apollo 10 and 17 astronaut.
As far as the Moon itself Mike Collins the command module pilot for Apollo 11 stated " I did not sense any great invitation on the part of the Moon to come in to its domain, I sense more, almost a hostile place, a scary place". If you are a Moon or Apollo person or someone who enjoys a good documentary, you gotta pick this one up.
Only one more post after this one before the Total Lunar Eclipse February 20 at 10:00 pm EST.
The show starts at around 8:43 pm EST. so don't miss it , last one till 2010. I have been practicing taking images of the Moon with the Canon 40D, as in the above 28% of full Moon image just in case I have to leave my scope behind, yes I have a plan, if it is cloudy up here in Saskatoon, I plan on heading south towards Moose Jaw, Sk, yes that is a name of a little city, not just pulling it out of a hat, Moose Jaw usually has opposite weather to us, 2 eclipses ago, when it was cloudy here, it was clear in Moose Jaw, being only 2 hrs away, it would definitely be worth it.
I'll leave you now with my most current Lunar image as a gif.