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Let the Eagle Soar
July 20, 2009 4:38 PM   Subscribe

40 years ago today, a man walked on the frickin' Moon. [previously]
posted by designbot (78 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think some restaurant, somewhere, should be serving a 9 course meal tonight, with all sorts of round entrees to approximate scale. And #3 should have a side dish with a cheese ball. And a little flag.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:45 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's a really cute idea. Even the portion sizes are right! And the cold planets far out from the sun can be scoops of sorbet. Pluto, the quasi-planet, gets to be an after-dinner mint.
posted by painquale at 4:50 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this the MJ obit thread?
posted by Afroblanco at 4:50 PM on July 20, 2009


I've had this song in my head all day.
posted by candyland at 4:52 PM on July 20, 2009


Obligatory Onion link.
posted by empath at 4:55 PM on July 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Photos of the landing sites were recently taken by the lunar orbiter.
posted by empath at 4:56 PM on July 20, 2009


And it happened right in the middle of a trip to visit family in Ohio, so, I (13¾ years old) and my cousins (all younger) got to stay up past 11PM to see it. Here in civilized California, it was happening at 8PM, although at one point I wondered what time it was on the Moon... I also wondered if anybody at CBS had told NASA it should've been more in Prime Time. My mind worked as strangely back then as it does now.
posted by wendell at 4:57 PM on July 20, 2009


This song has been on my mind. OK, OK... I know this has become my go-to snarky comment. I promise to retire it today.
posted by punkfloyd at 4:57 PM on July 20, 2009


No. This song.
posted by squalor at 4:59 PM on July 20, 2009


punkfloyd beat me to it like the USA beat the Russkies! But mine is Hi-Fi, darnit!
posted by squalor at 5:00 PM on July 20, 2009


Moon landing, schmoon landing. 40 years ago today, Marilu Henner lost her virginity.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:00 PM on July 20, 2009


For the record, I don't like "We Like the Moon".

This was the generally accepted 'moon' song at the time. (Bowie's "Space Oddity" had not yet been released)
posted by wendell at 5:02 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are Armstrong and Aldrin recognizable to those who were around back then? Every image of them in my memory is in spacesuits, so they don't even ring a bell when I see them now.
posted by smackfu at 5:02 PM on July 20, 2009


@ Squalor...great minds think alike.
posted by punkfloyd at 5:05 PM on July 20, 2009


I have a hard time knowing how to celebrate this. On one hand, it is indeed frickin' cool that man walked on the frickin' moon. On the other hand, it happened four decades ago and it embarrasses me that man hasn't done anything that frickin' cool recently. By celebrating the greatness of the ancients I'm celebrating the lack-of-greatness of the present day.

On the other hand, did they have a life-sized replica of Neil Armstrong made out of cheese in 1969? I think not. 2009 rulez! Take that, 1969.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:11 PM on July 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


The wording of the post actually reminded me of this song (or perhaps "sound collage" is a better description).

Happy birthday, moon-walk!
posted by p3t3 at 5:11 PM on July 20, 2009


speaking of moon songs, Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson wrote For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me on behalf of all who didn't actually get to go for a walk that evening, starting with Michael Collins, the man who had to stay back in the Command Module, orbiting but not touching.
posted by philip-random at 5:13 PM on July 20, 2009


I find one of the most compelling images from Apollo 11 to be one few people have seen: Neil Armstrong right after completing the first moonwalk. Pure joy, that look... puts a real human face on the endeavor.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:14 PM on July 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


What if the moon landing had failed? Nixon had a speech planned if the mission had failed. It's short, I'll post the whole thing:

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
posted by empath at 5:15 PM on July 20, 2009 [18 favorites]


I find it unbelievably depressing that manned exploration of space was basically over before I was born. Even though I understand why going to the moon and mars is better left for robots.
posted by empath at 5:17 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


FAKE
posted by backseatpilot at 5:19 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, I was listening to NPR on the way home from work and they interviewed two engineers working on the next generation of space suits - both of which are younger than me. I'm 25 and feeling really depressed by that.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:20 PM on July 20, 2009


19What if the moon landing had failed? Nixon had a speech planned if the mission had failed.

What a buzzkill, that guy.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:22 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the post. I was disappointed not to see it at 4:18 EDT today, as I listened to the real-time rebroadcast of the lunar landing.

But the title? The song sung by John Ashcroft and his barber-shop quartet? Soar? It's "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." Landed.
posted by orthogonality at 5:22 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can never get enough of Buzz Aldrin popping that guy in the face.
posted by bwg at 5:24 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I read someplace that Buzz Aldrin was pissed off because he wanted to be the first man on the moon, so he left his camera on the Lunar Module, and that's why almost all of the pictures are of Buzz Aldrin. (I don't know if that's true, but it's a great story either way.) Wikipedia sez:
Aldrin later gave the flag planting and subsequent phone call from President Nixon as reasons why there were no intentional photographs of Armstrong. In the entire Apollo 11 photographic record, there are only five images of Armstrong partly shown or reflected. Aldrin said plans were to take a photo of Armstrong after the famous image of Aldrin was taken, but they were interrupted by the Nixon communication. There were just over five minutes between these two events. The mission was planned to the minute, with the majority of photographic tasks to be performed by Armstrong with their single Hasselblad camera.
Photos of the landing sites were recently taken by the lunar orbiter.

And you can see their footprints.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:33 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank you, empath.
posted by nax at 5:33 PM on July 20, 2009


For countless years (well, about 25 or 26) I thought the moon landing was my first memory. It's not; in fact, it's a few seconds from the day my little sister was born. But for the first quarter-to-third of my projected life, that's what I thought it was. The moment remains my first love and obsession. Realizing the hidden (well in fairness, hidden only from three year olds) miltary and imperial content in the moment broke my heart. Realizing there was no realistic prospect for actual wide-scale space careers - no fragile mylar bubble over my asteroid mining claim in my future - broke my heart yet again.

There were other heartbreaks beyond those, and of course countless more in my future. But my cynical, angry heart was forged in reentry.
posted by mwhybark at 5:39 PM on July 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


P. S. The recent film with Sam Rockwell, Moon, was directed and written by David Bowie's son and is terrific.
posted by mwhybark at 5:42 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Even though I understand why going to the moon and mars is better left for robots."

Yeah, for a while. But I gotta go with Gene Krantz, the future of the species is in space.
(Too, NASA media coverage is ass. To quote Krantz: "Mission managers have said that the external tank shed 80 percent less foam this time than on previous launchings. Only in the news media, apparently, is an 80 percent improvement considered a failure.")
posted by Smedleyman at 5:45 PM on July 20, 2009


Currently, in the East Coast time zone, the History Channel is showing the original CBS broadcast.

Aldrin just came outta the LEM and is on the moon. Neat part: once they were on the moon, both astronauts practiced making the 3 foot jump back onto the ladder. Armstrong coached Aldrin through his run.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:46 PM on July 20, 2009


I don't think there were really any military implications in the Lunar project.
posted by delmoi at 5:49 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


We choose the moon
posted by tellurian at 6:00 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, it happened four decades ago and it embarrasses me that man hasn't done anything that frickin' cool recently

In Tokyo they apparently have a unified touchless pass system that works for subways, buses, and trains. That's pretty fucking cool and I'd take that over some lucky dudes bounce-housing on the moon, TYVM.

Anyhoo, my mum says I was transfixed in front of the TV for the entire Apollo 11 coverage, but I was only 2 at the time so I remember f-all. But props to the effort and engineering accomplishment.
posted by @troy at 6:05 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


P. S. The recent film with Sam Rockwell, Moon, was directed and written by David Bowie's son and is terrific.

Seconded.
posted by hifiparasol at 6:09 PM on July 20, 2009


The moon landing is one of my first memories.

I've gotten more sentimental as I've gotten older, and these past few days, I've positively choked up thinking about it.
posted by adamrice at 6:30 PM on July 20, 2009


I've been listening to Mission Control rebroadcasts on somafm all weekend and today.
posted by zinfandel at 6:47 PM on July 20, 2009


That would be a really big restaurant.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:00 PM on July 20, 2009


I find one of the most compelling images from Apollo 11 to be one few people have seen: Neil Armstrong right after completing the first moonwalk. Pure joy, that look... puts a real human face on the endeavor.

Neil looks so fucking high.
posted by Paid In Full at 7:01 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


The conspiracy theorists who deny the moon landing are displaying cognitive dissonance. The talk of a moon landing caused concern for zealots off all creeds and was often dismissed as impossible, perhaps being some sort of human arrogance to religious attitude and belief. After it happened, a simple form of rationalization took hold and the need to proselyte the government conspiracy was born. Ironically, the concept of cognitive dissonance was tested on a failed prophecy regarding sudden destructive visitors from outer space.
posted by Brian B. at 7:20 PM on July 20, 2009


I wish I was alive when this actually happened, 40 years ago.
posted by Michael Leung at 7:21 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I saw this when I was 10 yars old. Walter Cronkite was my goto guy in black and white on a Zenith TV. ::sigh:: I'm old.

BTW, first post, long lurker.

Hiya all.
posted by Splunge at 7:24 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


NASA's Apollo 11 Image Library for your HQ image needs.
Thumbnails of the photos taken on the Lunar Surface.
posted by fings at 7:27 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I recall correctly, Aldrin took a picture of the ground just below his feet. Then he took a pic of a footprint. And then he thought that the footprint looked a bit off. So he took a third picture of his foot partially over the footprint.

If that doesn't say human on the moon, nothing does.
posted by Splunge at 7:32 PM on July 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


The moon landing, and some images from Vietnam are my first memories of television. I was preschool age, and watched it with my grandfather. He cried as they landed. Not big weepy hysterics, but tears rolled down his cheeks. He was not an emotional man as a rule. I looked up at him, from my perch on the edge of the couch, confused. He just patted my hand, and waved at the TV, and we watched together silently.

Like all grandparents do eventually, he died. After the funeral, my grandmother gave me a battered old chest that would make a child think of a pirate treasure. Inside, the chest was filled with copies of pulp science fiction magazines from the 30s and subsequent decades. My grandfather had been a secret sci-fi fan, and the moon landing was confirmation for him that we really were going to reach for the stars. That a new age had begun. It was the end of Industrialization and the Dawn of the Space Age.

I don't think I have ever, in my entire live, had a moment of hope so bright and soul-shaking as the moment my grandfather had seeing a man land on the moon.
posted by dejah420 at 7:42 PM on July 20, 2009 [19 favorites]


Any idea who wrote that speech for Nixon?

Man, there were speechwriting giants in those days.
posted by John of Michigan at 7:54 PM on July 20, 2009


My grandfather and my father both worked on circuit boards for the Apollo program, on a factory line out in California. To think that maybe, if not on the moon, maybe just floating out in space or a charred little piece of equipment that survived re-entry in the wilderness somewhere, is just a little pice of something my forefathers worked on that helped get us to the moon, is just an amazing thing.
posted by chambers at 7:59 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


William Safire.
posted by empath at 8:08 PM on July 20, 2009


The talk of a moon landing caused concern for zealots off all creeds and was often dismissed as impossible, perhaps being some sort of human arrogance to religious attitude and belief.

And then you hear about Aldrin's communion on the Moon and you wonder why the dissonance.
posted by dw at 8:10 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


NASA's Apollo 11 Image Library for your HQ image needs.

I love the color photos of the pad. We get so used to seeing B&W everywhere from that age, and color from the Shuttle launches, that seeing color Apollo launch seems unreal.
posted by smackfu at 8:11 PM on July 20, 2009


Paid In Full: "Neil looks so fucking high."

He's not high -- he just has...

(ahem)

SPACE EUPHORIA ! (previously)
posted by Rhaomi at 8:22 PM on July 20, 2009


I was a project engineer at NASA during this time- Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville. Worked on the J-2 rocket engine project (2nd and 3rd stages of the Saturn V). Met Von Braun. Talked with astronauts. Those were heady times indeed, and it's truly amazing what was accomplished less than seventy years after the first powered flight.

Among the "souvenirs" I have from that time is a four-inch-thick mass of paper, bound into book form- "Apollo Operations Handbook- Command and service Module- Mission AS-204A- Spacecraft 012." That's the one that burned on the pad, with Astronauts Grissom, Chaffee, and White inside. I can't describe the feeling I have when I look at it.

Hoax conspiracy theories......
We were on the moon, all right- six times. There is no doubt about it.

And I wouldn't lie to ye.
Now, you kids, get off my lawn!!
posted by drhydro at 8:24 PM on July 20, 2009 [26 favorites]



And then you hear about Aldrin's communion on the Moon and you wonder why the dissonance.
posted by dw at 11:10 PM on July 20


Bit on irony there for you. Because of an atheist zealot who pitched a fit about the Apollo 8 astronauts reading from Genesis, the Apollo 11 crew was forbidden by NASA from mentioning anything religious. That's why prior to taking communion, Aldrin gave the rather cryptic message, "This is the LM pilot. I'd like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way."
posted by Pastabagel at 8:28 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just for the record, here's the Buzz punch from a few years back (YT).
posted by edgeways at 8:30 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that Wendell. I agree entirely.

On another note:

While at work today I was thinking about the moon landing and all of the technology it required and how great it was that we (not me personally) made it. This, of course, was during the hour and a half that every computer in the store was down and we were turning people away at the door because we had no way to process their transactions.

Forty years ago we sent people to the moon - and here I am, forced to use a basic Power PC in 2009.
posted by Kimothy at 8:34 PM on July 20, 2009


"Apollo Operations Handbook- Command and service Module- Mission AS-204A- Spacecraft 012."
Speaking of manuals, here is the Lunar Rover Operations Handbook.
posted by tellurian at 8:39 PM on July 20, 2009


delmoi: "I don't think there were really any military implications in the Lunar project."

http://www.herald-mail.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=227101&format=html
posted by mwhybark at 9:16 PM on July 20, 2009


I read someplace that Buzz Aldrin was pissed off because he wanted to be the first man on the moon, so he left his camera on the Lunar Module, and that's why almost all of the pictures are of Buzz Aldrin. (I don't know if that's true, but it's a great story either way.)

Aldrin set the record straight in his memoir Magnificent Desolation (via):
Neil shot most of the photos on the moon, having the camera attached to a fitting on his spacesuit much of the time while I was doing a variety of experiments. I didn't have such a camera holder on my suit, so it just made sense that Neil should handle the photography.{...}

Later, pundits and others would wonder why most of the photographs on the moon were of me. It wasn't because I was the more photogenic of the two helmet-clad guys on the moon. Some even conjectured that it must have been a purposeful attempt on my part to shun Neil in the photos. That, of course, was ridiculous. We had our assigned tasks, and since Neil had the camera most of the time we were on the surface, it simply made sense that he would photograph our activities and the panoramas of the lunar landscape. And since I was the only other person there . . .
A photo of Aldrin exiting the lunar module, autographed by the three astronauts, hangs like an icon at my parents' home. Aldrin rightly praises his co-venturer - who didn't even have a viewfinder on his camera - for taking such striking images by "pointing and shooting."
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:17 PM on July 20, 2009


Kimothy: "Forty years ago we sent people to the moon - and here I am, forced to use a basic Power PC in 2009."

I hear ya. The kottke.org realtime playback via Youtube thingy wouldn't work for me at work today. Dammit.Why must we suffer so? ;)
posted by mwhybark at 9:20 PM on July 20, 2009


Bit on irony there for you. Because of an atheist zealot who pitched a fit about the Apollo 8 astronauts reading from Genesis, the Apollo 11 crew was forbidden by NASA from mentioning anything religious.

And I really miss those government sermons from orbit too. Religion reveals the space race in a new light. Those atheist commies were winning at rocket science, and then we get angry and show them up by going to the moon, but not without communion and golf. Meanwhile, people in America were asking their preachers why they didn't see God while they were out there and wondering if it really happened. I just don't think we would have made it without NASA getting pregnant with the cold war, but at least they didn't plant the cross.
posted by Brian B. at 9:22 PM on July 20, 2009


Just for the record, here's the Buzz punch from a few years back (YT).

Third in his class at West Point, decorated pilot and gunner, doctorate in aeronautics from MIT, perfected spacewalk, walked on the moon, cold cocked a conspiracy theorist.

And yet, we chose Reagan as the Greatest American?!
posted by dw at 9:35 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Space Oddity (Bowie)
Space Doggity (Coulton)
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:01 PM on July 20, 2009


I find it unbelievably depressing that manned exploration of space was basically over before I was born. -- empath

It was unbelievably exciting. The whole world joined in watching the grainy television images with rapt attention. There was electricity in the air like you cannot believe.

It makes me doubt my otherwise strong opinion that Mars is best left to robots.

Maybe we should send a probe to another solar system. Wouldn't that be something--to receive signals from another star! I wonder what it would take to do that--how many decades before we hear anything. Maybe not so long--have it unfold an unbelievably large antenna when it gets there and blast a signal back. When we know it works, then we send probes to 100 more stars, or maybe 1000. It is time to move beyond our solar system and reignite the excitement for space.
posted by eye of newt at 10:07 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


wait...the fucking moon?! you are shitting me!
posted by sexyrobot at 10:27 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


My favorite Moon gag.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 10:39 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry to burst your bubble, eye of newt, but we launched Voyager I more than thirty years ago, gave it multiple gravity-assisted speed boosts, and sent it rocketing out of the system at a brisk 38,400 mph -- and it hasn't even reached the heliopause (the end of the sun's influence and the beginning of deep space). At that rate, it would take more than 73,000 years to reach Proxima Centauri, our closest stellar neighbor.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:41 PM on July 20, 2009


40 years ago today, a man walked on the frickin' Moon.

Heh, when you said that I thought it was going to be a link to this (pretty juvenile, I know, but it still makes me laugh).
posted by the other side at 10:48 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember watching it live on TV when I was almost 4. It's one of my first clear memories, or at early least memories that I can accurately date.

If you haven't watched the HBO series From The Earth To The Moon, I recommend it almost without reservation (Tom Hanks' intros did grate a tiny bit, but that's a minor niggle).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:14 AM on July 21, 2009


Forty years ago today, I was doing a little last minute clean up and making sure I didn't forefit the deposit on my first home when I moved out 8 days later. One of my godfathers did mail an envelope addressed to the as-yet-unborn me on July 20th with one of the moon landing stamps on it as a memento. It's still in my baby book, I think.

I was obsessed with space and astronauts from pretty much the moment I was born. Probably not all that different than many of the other kids born in that era. Most of you probably don't have a picture of yourself (circa 18 months) dressed up as an astronaut*, though.

*(For the record, the well-prepared 18 month old astronaut in 1970 was wearing: a diaper, a tupperwear helmet, a clear beach bag filled with more tupperwear to make a "rocket pack", and rhinestone cocktail dress shoes. Plastic clothes baskets make excellent splash-down capsules, I'm told.)
posted by elfgirl at 4:21 AM on July 21, 2009


What the moon landing meant to a man who was a POW in North Vietnam at the time.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:22 AM on July 21, 2009


I hate to be the wet blanket, but you know, when we got up there, it turned out the only thing really worth looking at was the earth...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:24 AM on July 21, 2009


I can't understand why I haven't heard The Police's "Walking On The Moon" (SLYT) every 4 seconds!
posted by Dub at 7:53 AM on July 21, 2009


we launched Voyager I more than thirty years ago, gave it multiple gravity-assisted speed boosts, and sent it rocketing out of the system at a brisk 38,400 mph -- and it hasn't even reached the heliopause

Yes, but it wasn't designed to reach another star. Think acceleration, not velocity. Even if your acceleration is slow, your speed gets faster and faster until 38,400 mph seems like a crawl.

Get creative (it is one of the benefits of projects like this)--maybe solar sails followed by nuclear powered thrust.

Expensive? Heck of a lot cheaper and safer than sending a man to Mars.
posted by eye of newt at 7:55 AM on July 21, 2009


It's the first specific dated event that I can remember, aside from birthdays and holidays.

And I still haven't given up hope that someday, I will too.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:52 AM on July 21, 2009


The moon landings signify for me the best of human achievement - it lit a fire in my imagination and both Armstrong and Aldrin remain heroes of mine. This event, when I think of the magnitude and scale of the endeavor, and the significance of us setting foot on soil not of this earth, brings tears to my eyes.

I owe my life rather indirectly to JFK and the space race, actually. When I was a kid growing up in Malaysia, I came home from a class trip with the worst headache in my life. It kept on getting worse and worse, the slightest movement of my head would cause blinding pain, as if my brain were bumping up against the walls of my skull.

My mother, fearing that I had caught cholera as there had been an outbreak in the state which we'd visited, took me immediately to the hospital. After some tests, it turned out that I didn't have cholera at all, but rather dengue fever. Now dengue fever isn't a lethal threat to healthy adults but to kids, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, the disease can progress to become dengue hemorrhagic fever, a kissing cousin of ebola fever where the ultimate result is the patient dies a horrible death by bleeding out from every orifice of their body. Yeah, pleasant.

Anyway, my fever had progressed to the point where I couldn't keep any food or liquids down - I would promptly throw everything up as soon as I'd ingested it. My condition was worsening and my cerebrospinal fluid pressure was becoming dangerously high. The only option was to get me eating/drinking to get my strength back up to fight the virus off and my system wasn't cooperating.

At her wits' end, my mother knelt at my bedside and pleaded with me to name ANYTHING which I desired to eat or drink and she would procure it for me. The first thing to pop into my head was Tang, the dehydrated orange juice "which the astronauts drink!"

I was already a big fan of Armstrong and Aldrin at that point. I devoured every scrap of space-related media that I could lay my hands on, had books full of my drawings of rockets and spacemen, and I wanted to be an astronaut myself regardless of the lack of any sort of Malaysian space program. So Tang wasn't such a big surprise.

This was, however, pre-globalization Malaysia. It wasn't easy to find such luxuries as Tang, Nutella, or any Western luxury food item but somehow my mother came back in the space of an hour with a jar of Tang clutched in her hands. To this day, I still have no idea where she got it or how much it cost her.

My mom mixed up some of that magical orange goodness and cradled my head as I drank the whole glass down. Miracle of miracles, I was able to keep the stuff down - there was no way I was going to waste a drop of that rarest of treats. The repeated application of rehydrated orange juice "which the astronauts drink!" soon infused my body with the calories it needed to fight the virus which was ravaging my system and I eventually made a full recovery.

So had it not been for JFK and his vision of putting men on the moon, there never would have been a Tang for that adolescent version of myself to dream of and to hold so jealously in his stomach. And without that Tang I wouldn't be here today, making snarky comments on this 10-year old website on the 40th anniversary of the Moon Landing.

So thank you, JFK. Thank you Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Aldrin. Thank you for firing up the imagination of a young Malaysian boy with visions of space and rockets and the moon. And now I think I'm going to go to my kitchen and make myself some space orange juice.

"Which the astronauts drink!"
posted by ooga_booga at 1:35 AM on July 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


Everyone knows that was faked to cover up Chappaquiddick, right?
posted by msergott at 4:07 PM on July 22, 2009


ooga_booga, my post-work beer notwithstanding, you just made me cry. My wife has been diabetic since she was a toddler so I have some grasp of the amazing and desperate creativity available to mothers in a tight corner. Glad to have you here.
posted by mwhybark at 6:46 PM on July 22, 2009


Ion engine could one day power 39-day trips to Mars
posted by homunculus at 1:38 PM on July 24, 2009


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