National Moon Day celebrates man's first walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. Six hours after Apollo 11 landed on the lunar surface, astronaut Neil Armstrong took his first steps outside. The world watched as astronaut Buzz Aldrin went out to join his colleague a short time later. Command Module Pilot Michael Collins remained inside the ship, ensuring all was well for their mission.
It was a major accomplishment for the United States that put our country in first place for the space race and set the pace for other nations to move forward.
Armstrong has said that his first words on the moon were "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" but was quoted without the word "a" - modified to "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." There has been debate on which way he said it, although either way has a huge impact. For the record, Armstrong thought the former, but admitted he didn't hear it that way in the recording.
The success of the Apollo 11 mission strengthened America's space program and paved the way for future expansion and exploration.
Fun Fact: Between 1959 and 1975, every astronaut participating in the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Apollo-Soyuz programs learned celestial navigation at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC.
Technically, there isn't an official National Moon Day - yet. On July 20, 1971, President Richard Nixon commemorated America's moon landing by declaring it "National Moon Landing Day." Bills have been written, but it still isn't official in the books. However, that doesn't stop people from remembering and celebrating this monumental moment, called "...the single greatest technological achievement of all time." by NASA (and others).
Go out and look at the moon! Imagine what it would be like to go there - or remember what it was like to watch any of the actual voyages. Where were you? What did you think? Feel? Wish? Would you have ever believed that there would be an International Space Station orbiting our earth? Ironically, the moon will be new - dark - on this date in 2020, but you can use it as a starting point to watch it grow (wax) to full in the coming days. Snap a photo each night to document its progress. Check the Moon Phases calendar for info. You can also get a Moon Phase app - do a search for your device. There are many to choose from.
Learn about our travels to space. The moon has always been, and continues to be, a fascination for people. Watch a Live Stream of the International Space Station on UStream, and check out The NASA Missions A-Z on NASA's website.
Watch a film about travel to the moon. Check out this list of films on IMDb (some are stretching that theme, but there are plenty of good films on the list).
Eat! I wouldn't be a true foodie if I didn't offer up a recipe or two - or, in this case, a link to a website that has some fun ideas for moon-themed dishes Check out 15 Magical Moon Inspired Recipes. Not into cooking? Then order some real Astronaut Ice Cream - and munch out just like the astronauts do in space.
- Barbara 🙃🌕
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