Patterico's Pontifications

8/25/2012

R.I.P. Neil Armstrong

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:04 pm

Neil Armstrong is one of those people I always thought I’d meet, somehow. Like Isaac Asimov, he was a man I strongly admired and, as weird as it sounds, I just assumed that somehow, somewhere, our paths would cross.

But of course Armstrong did not seek the spotlight and almost never made public appearances. And time passes, and you wake up one morning and find that another one of your heroes is gone.

My mom sat me in front of the television in July 1969 so that I could watch the Moon landing live. I wasn’t quite a year old, and the experts tell me that I can’t remember it, but I could swear I do. I suppose I could be confusing the memory with rebroadcasts on subsequent anniversaries. But the fact remains: I watched it. I Was There, in the virtual way that everyone but two people (sorry Michael Collins) had to experience the event.

It’s impossible to overstate the place Neil Armstrong holds in human history — as does Buzz Aldrin, whose book Magnificent Desolation I have read and strongly recommend, and who I now realize I am going to have to make a special effort to meet. Footprints from the Apollo missions can still be seen on the Moon, and will likely last for millions of years.

Farewell to a true American hero.

70 Responses to “R.I.P. Neil Armstrong”

  1. This kind of thing makes you feel old.

    Patterico (83033d)

  2. St. Peter….”Hello Neil, and welcome….that is one giant step for a man….”

    reff (e3d583)

  3. sad.
    My first memory is from close to 1 yr old (may be before or just after. Sis was still residing inside mom who was near term at the time and she is but one year and 13 days younger than I) so pshaw on those “experts”…I too watched the landing, and remember it but I was a bit older then, a whopping 3 yrs old. We were at an uncle’s cabin and he had a tv in it.

    JP (c50b44)

  4. see you heaven if you make the list Mr. spaceman

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  5. Yes, still remember what I was doing that day in July ’69… I couldn’t watch it on TV, had to listen to the radio as my co-worker and I set up 750 folding chairs in prep for the Concert Under the Stars at Pearson Park in Anaheim… he doubled as the sound man and I worked the lights for the Anaheim Parks and Rec Dept. The description of what they were doing just gave one the chills and a sense of pride in America.

    Colonel Haiku (bf9e7a)

  6. It seems it was a whole other world back then,

    http://www.jammiewf.com/2012/nbc-news-reports-the-death-of-astronaut-neil-young/

    narciso (ee31f1)

  7. My parents took me to the ticker tape parade for the hero moon travelers that wound through the skyscraper canyons of downtown Chicago in mid August 1969. I remember thinking and marveling that less than a month before these men had walked on the surface of the moon –and now here they were, right in front of us riding in a car and waving. It was breathtaking and I will never forget that day.

    elissa (1e9a66)

  8. NBC News… they bring your world to you!

    http://www.jammiewf.com/assets/nbcgaffe.png

    Colonel Haiku (bf9e7a)

  9. I remember that day, and all the promise for the future. Pity we haven’t done much at all since. I don’t think that anyone supposed that Neil Armstrong would die before we went back.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  10. I watched it with mom and dad, as my dad taped it for one of his history classes.

    A true American Pioneer. Thank You, Mr. Armstrong.

    mg (44de53)

  11. I was born in the year of Sputnik — indeed, during its few weeks of orbit — so I was old enough not just to watch, but to relish, the 1969 Apollo 11 landing. Indeed, although I don’t quite remember Alan Shepard’s flight, but I do definitely remember John Glenn’s. By July 1969, I had several models, with varying levels of detail, of each part of the Apollo system, some of which (the less detailed ones) were working model rockets that I’d sent hundreds of feet into the air. While Armstrong was piloting the real LEM over the Sea of Tranquility, I was piloting my favorite plastic version over the sofas, chairs, and other obstacles of the Dyer living room. Neil and I had a simultaneous, and equally successful, touchdowns.

    Scientists are apparently still arguing over whether he said “One small step for man,” which made no sense, or “One small step for a man,” which made perfect sense, but I wish historians could get their acts together and report it the way it makes sense even if they feel compelled to drop a footnote to suggest that Armstrong might have inadvertently swallowed the “a.” Let’s recognize that Armstrong didn’t have the luxury that Doug MacArthur had to re-film his return to the Philippines and re-shoot his famous “I have returned” line until he was entirely satisfied with it. Armstrong wasn’t just a lucky guy who was in the right place at the right time to land a historic role — although there was some luck involved in his beating out the other Apollo astronaut candidates. Rather, he and his fellows were extraordinary pilots and professionals, patriots who’d seen friends blown apart or burned up and who knew that could happen to them at almost any moment, but who were committed to making that giant leap for mankind. Can we at least give them all the benefit of a generous standard for quoting what might in fact have been said, and what clearly was meant to be said, instead of a truncated and nonsensical version of that quote?

    Beldar (8e9db8)

  12. Bah. “Crop” –> “drop” a footnote. See, everyone needs a helpful editor!

    Beldar (8e9db8)

  13. Thanks Beldar for that perfectly reasonable discussion of the quote, which I had never heard before! I remember watching it on television in our basement.

    I also remember as a child in the 60’s watching the sky at night on occasion to see a satellite pass overhead, which was something special then.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  14. Here is photographic proof of the the ticker tape parade–an image which is seared, seared in my memory. Really!

    http://www.mcmahanphoto.com/ns972–apollo-11-ticker-tape-parade-chicago-photo-print.html

    Be sure to click to enlarge.

    elissa (1e9a66)

  15. I remember the moment, being a bit older. I was a boy, but I sure did appreciate what it all meant. I’m sad that the path they laid out in the late 60s is the path we did not follow.

    Money was not the issue, as Neil Armstrong himself often said in his speeches.

    Buzz Aldrin is a character, however. Very smart man, haunted by demons that he overcame (after you have been to the Moon, what do you do next?). But I love this bit, when Aldrin is confronted by a rude fellow who doesn’t believe humans ever landed on Luna:

    http://youtu.be/1wcrkxOgzhU

    RIP, Neil Armstrong.

    Simon Jester (d2b944)

  16. I was 3 years 9 months old. My memory of watching the landing is strong, as I was up all night with chicken pox — the two events are indelibly imprinted on my psyche.

    Icy (115db0)

  17. elissa – that looks like the coolest family day ever.

    mg (44de53)

  18. I was 24, just out of the Air Force with a speciality in Automatic Flight Controls, working at Jet Propulsion Lab in the Space Flight Operations Facility. We were on stand-by ready to back-up Houston in case of problems.

    There were none, so we were highly interested spectators. Those were heady days.

    ropelight (59183a)

  19. Another milestone in our exploration of space has been set aside, but not forgotten.
    With the many great explorers before him, he now is able to investigate the infinity of space in their company.
    Thank You, Commander, you did us proud!
    R.I.P.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (2bb434)

  20. I’m nearly 15 years too young to have seen it, but the rebroadcasts always awed me, and I remember my Mom telling me about it when I was very young.

    pat (e6bcff)

  21. Where were you on July 20, 1969?

    We watched, as best we could, on a small B/W TV that one of the usherettes had brought to work at the neighborhood walk-in theater I managed while attending college. We sat it on the concession counter, and people drifted back and forth from the auditorium to the concession-stand to see the progress of Apollo-11, and to watch Man set foot on something other than Earth.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (2bb434)

  22. I was seven and watched every Apollo launch from my own private space capsule, constructed from a bridge table and two blankets.

    Pious Agnostic (ee2c24)

  23. We watched.
    He did.

    nk (875f57)

  24. I ate breakfast with Chuck Yeager right behind me once. Armstrong might have been ata the same event but I never got closer to him than the RCA in the family room in July 1969.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  25. I was a young Navy wife, mother of a 10 month old son. He will be 44 in a couple of weeks. We watched it on our new big screen (25″) color TV we had recently purchased. Very exciting night.

    PatAZ (83729f)

  26. In his last act of patriotism Neil Armstrong made NBC look like a bunch of idiots.

    And trivia. Armstrong insisted for years that what he said was “One small step for A man…” years later, people got the original australian recordings, the best recordings of his transmission and… he was totally right. So next time you hear someone say the first words said on the moon are “One small step for man… one giant leap for mankind” you can correct that person. Armstrong said it right.

    Aaron "Worthing" Walker (23789b)

  27. Young and all teh dope
    he was expecting to fly
    oh… teh damage done

    Colonel Haiku (136c2e)

  28. Armstrong was Old School
    pocket protector white socks
    first mensch on teh M00n

    Colonel Haiku (136c2e)

  29. Neil Armstrong, my first hero. Michael Collins was actually almost the spitting image of my father who I lost almost 10 years ago.

    My favorite story post mission is actually about Buzz Aldrin. There was a famous “skeptic” (really loon) named Bart Sibrel who claimed that the moon landing was faked and once confronted Buzz Aldrin in person after luring him to a meeting at a hotel by deception. Aldrin got annoyed with him, and when Sibrel called Aldrin a coward and a liar, Aldrin then punched him.

    For which I still cheer Buzz Aldrin.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. Aaron, that link is great, especially reading through the comments.

    Young is still alive, I believe, though he did almost die a number of years ago from bleeding out of his femoral artery after a procedure to deal with a cerebral aneurysm.

    He did write a song about spaceships flying.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12T95RHGLH8

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  31. Here’s a link to a Houston Chronicle article on the Australian analysis of Armstrong’s not-missing-“a”.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  32. Oh, I remember that afternoon. I was in USMC bootcamp, and my company of recruits was marched out and we set up a mess tent and watch a little b&w Sony TV one of the DIs brought. I jury-rigged an antenna and we all watched in awe.

    Rest in honored peace, Commander Armstrong. You made the world a better place.

    htom (412a17)

  33. There’s a husband/wife couple that fronted a critically acclaimed English band in the 1990s called The Sundays. After their third album in ’97, they disappeared like Harper Lee, J.D. Salinger, and Terrence Malick.
    They don’t do interviews but it’s believed they retired to raise their children without distractions.

    The last song on their final album is about the moon landing, as remembered by singer Harriet Wheeler, when she (as a four year old) and her sister snuck downstairs in the middle of the night to watch it on “the telly.”
    It’s a lovely, ethereal song.

    Below is the first verse and chorus from the song, “Monochrome,” and below is a link to the song in its entirety at YouTube, accompanied by still photos of the moon landing.

    It’s 4 in the morning July in ’69
    Me and my sister, we crept down like shadows
    They’re bringing the moon right down to our sitting room
    Static and silence and a monochrome vision

    They’re dancing around
    Slow puppets silver ground
    And the world is watching with joy
    We hear a voice from above and it’s history
    And we stayed awake all night

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QEtyms1sGU&feature=related

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  34. “…NBC look(s) like a bunch of idiots…”

    That is such a low bar.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (2bb434)

  35. 196whatever. It was a Zenith with vacuum tubes and my brothers and I cried when the tubes burned out. Ande we were guys with horses at five and rifles at nine.

    nk (875f57)

  36. In the big game of space mother-may-I we’ve had to take some steps backward. Progressives resented the successful moonshots deeply. Obama have anything to say yet?

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  37. I’m just surprised NBC didn’t report Lance Armstrong dead . . .

    Then again, MSNBC basically did that yesterday.

    Icy (b29c1e)

  38. It is quite rare in the course of human events- and the brief life spans granted our species- to say we’ve all shared time and space with an individual who will truly be remembered centuries after all the trials and tribulations of our times have long faded into footnoted oblivion. Neil Alden Armstrong was one of those individuals.

    Armstrong was first and foremost an aviator-engineer; a test pilot, in the best sense of the terms. And he was articulate. When Armstrong spoke, particularly on aviation and space matters, people listened. Whether they heard is another matter. He always placed his Apollo flight in the context of the evolution of aviation and much of his professional history with the Navy, the X-15, the NACA, NASA and post Apollo accomplishments can be easily researched. His authorized biography, “First Man” is an absorbing read as well.

    It’s common knowledge that Armstrong shunned the glare of the public spotlight. And has always said he didn’t deserve the celebrity status today’s modern media tried to press upon him. Rather, he credited circumstances as affording him the opportunity to command Apollo 11 and carry the responsibility of being the first man on the moon. A ‘reluctant hero’ to be sure. (Although recent memoirs by Apollo era brass note he was essentially chosen to be first out by crew assignment managers.) Nevertheless, the burden was real and the Lindbergh experience was a loose model for managing it.

    Whenever asked, Armstrong always credited the general support of the American people as well as the 400,000 dedicated employees in government, industry and academia with making Apollo a success. And although it was spawned as another battlefront of the Cold War, Apollo remains one of the rare occurrences where a government project was accomplished ahead of schedule and under budget- albeit a big budget- roughly $25 billion in 1970 dollars– all of it spent right here on Earth. And it was not by accident that their Apollo 11 flight patch did not carry the names of the crew. Apollo 11 was, in part, for all mankind.

    Most everyone has heard audio fragments of Eagle’s final descent to the moon from July 20, 1969. It’s a taut, tense stream of real time data relayed in a staccato style by Buzz Aldrin as Neil busied himself taking control away from an overloaded computer and manually steering the Lunar Module past craters and boulder fields to a safe landing. Fewer have heard the onboard audio loop, which is similar to an aircraft cockpit voice recorder. On that tape, Armstrong calmly describes his actions, flying past the danger, stating he sees a good looking area and with just seconds of fuel to spare, cooly guides the Eagle to touchdown. It is the quintessential Right Stuff at work. And it was the challenge of this descent to the lunar surface, as Armstrong said repeatedly over the years, which was the high point of the flight for him. The moonwalk itself- not much more than two and a half hours long- televised by a simple b/w TV camera, may seem primitive by today’s standards- but it is still a wonder to watch, particularly to those who remember a time when a voyage to the moon was thought impossible.

    Myself and family were quite fortunate to have met the Apollo 11 crew at a reception in the United States Embassy in London back in October, 1969, less than 90 days after Apollo 11’s moon landing, when the crew was in the midst of their world tour. An affable and reserved Armstrong, dressed in a classic, ‘Mad Men-era’ business suit and narrow tie, had just arrived along with fellow crewmen Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and their wives, from a meet and greet w/Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. It remains a high point of my life. Armstrong pleasantly, if not dutifully, shook hands with all, accepted a plaque, chatted, presented a short NASA film about the flight to the assembled group and took the time to sign a photo for us. That photo still hangs in my home today. And I am sadden by Neil’s passing, but so very, very proud of his legacy for our country and how he managed the burden of being the first human being in the history of everything to set foot on another world. To date, twelve men have walked on the moon. All Americans. Yesterday there were nine left alive. Today, that number drops to eight; the first member of the world’s most exclusive, out-of-this world’s club, to walk there has left us.

    Condolences to the Armstrong family, of course. And to the broader NASA family as well. The Armstrong’s have asked that to honor Neil’s memory, go outside, take a look at the moon, and give it a wink. But before hand, take a look at this below:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo11-LRO-March2012.jpg

    Those trails in that image are full of Neil’s footprints. And Buzz’s footprints. And they will be there for millions of years. Representing all our footprints, from generations past and for generations to come who have and will look up at Luna, and wonder, if only for a moment, what it’s like to go there.

    Ad Astra, Neil. Ad Astra. =wink=

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  39. I had an uncle who worked at JPL as an assistant to Dr Pickering, so my family was pretty well informed about what was going on at the start of NASA. I wasn’t yet 4 when JPL launched Explorer I, but I was 7 when Shepard went up and then Grissom and Glenn. Somewhere around here I still have some mementos: framed photos of Explorer/Juno on the pad and at launch and a first day cover of the Friendship 7 stamp.

    Unsurprisingly, I followed the rest of Mercury/Gemini/Apollo pretty much obsessively.

    And then everything stopped. Sure, I went out to see Columbia land that first time, but it was really not very exciting since we weren’t going anywhere any more. So many broken dreams when Nixon shut it all down.

    Maybe soon now.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  40. It is quite rare in the course of human events- and the brief life spans granted our species- to say we’ve all shared time and space with an individual who will truly be remembered centuries after all the trials and tribulations of our times have long faded into footnoted oblivion. Neil Alden Armstrong was one of those individuals.

    Armstrong was first and foremost an aviator-engineer; a test pilot, in the best sense of the terms. And he was articulate. When Armstrong spoke, particularly on aviation and space matters, people listened. Whether they heard is another matter. He always placed his Apollo flight in the context of the evolution of aviation and much of his professional history with the Navy, the X-15, the NACA, NASA and post Apollo accomplishments can be easily researched. His authorized biography, “First Man” is an absorbing read as well.

    It’s common knowledge that Armstrong shunned the glare of the public spotlight. And has always said he didn’t deserve the celebrity status today’s modern media tried to press upon him. Rather, he credited circumstances as affording him the opportunity to command Apollo 11 and carry the responsibility of being the first man on the moon. A ‘reluctant hero’ to be sure. (Although recent memoirs by Apollo era brass note he was essentially chosen to be first out by crew assignment managers.) Nevertheless, the burden was real and the Lindbergh experience was a loose model for managing it.

    Whenever asked, Armstrong always credited the general support of the American people as well as the 400,000 dedicated employees in government, industry and academia with making Apollo a success. And although it was spawned as another battlefront of the Cold War, Apollo remains one of the rare occurrences where a government project was accomplished ahead of schedule and under budget- albeit a big budget- roughly $25 billion in 1970 dollars– all of it spent right here on Earth. And it was not by accident that their Apollo 11 flight patch did not carry the names of the crew. Apollo 11 was, in part, for all mankind.

    Most everyone has heard audio fragments of Eagle’s final descent to the moon from July 20, 1969. It’s a taut, tense stream of real time data relayed in a staccato style by Buzz Aldrin as Neil busied himself taking control away from an overloaded computer and manually steering the Lunar Module past craters and boulder fields to a safe landing. Fewer have heard the onboard audio loop, which is similar to an aircraft cockpit voice recorder. On that tape, Armstrong calmly describes his actions, flying past the danger, stating he sees a good looking area and with just seconds of fuel to spare, cooly guides the Eagle to touchdown. It is the quintessential Right Stuff at work. And it was the challenge of this descent to the lunar surface, as Armstrong said repeatedly over the years, which was the high point of the flight for him. The moonwalk itself- not much more than two and a half hours long- televised by a simple b/w TV camera, may seem primitive by today’s standards- but it is still a wonder to watch, particularly to those who remember a time when a voyage to the moon was thought impossible.

    Myself and family were quite fortunate to have met the Apollo 11 crew at a reception in the United States Embassy in London back in October, 1969, less than 90 days after Apollo 11′s moon landing, when the crew was in the midst of their world tour. An affable and reserved Armstrong, dressed in a classic, ‘Mad Men-era’ business suit and narrow tie, had just arrived along with fellow crewmen Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and their wives, from a meet and greet w/Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. It remains a high point of my life. Armstrong dutifully shook hands with all, accepted a plaque, chatted, presented a short NASA film about the flight to the assembled group and took the time to sign a photo for us. That photo still hangs in my home today. And I am sadden by Neil’s passing, but so very, very proud of his legacy for our country and how he managed the burden of being the first human being in the history of everything to set foot on another world. To date, twelve men have walked on the moon. All Americans. Yesterday there were nine left alive. Today, that number drops to eight; the first charter member of the world’s most exclusive, out-of-this world club to walk there has left us.

    Condolences to the Armstrong family, of course. And to the broader NASA family as well. The Armstrong’s have asked that to honor Neil’s memory, go outside, take a look at the moon, and give it a wink. But before hand, take a look at this below:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo11-LRO-March2012.jpg

    Those trails in that image are full of Neil’s footprints. And Buzz’s footprints. And they will be there for millions of years. Representing all our footprints, from generations past and for generations to come who have and will look up at Luna, and wonder, if only for a moment, what it’s like to go there.

    Ad Astra, Neil. Ad Astra.

    =wink=

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  41. Nixon didn’t shut it down…hippies did. That’s exaggerating a bit, but there was considerable caterwauling amongst the left about the cost, and Nixon had to push and push to maintain manned spaceflight programs at all.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  42. Here is an online memorial to Neil Armstrong – please feel free to light a virtual candle or send
    virtual flowers – http://www.memorialmatters.com/memorials.php?page=NeilArmstrong

    Neil Fox (f6961e)

  43. I forgot all about the sundays I’m a get them next time I login to my musics

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  44. Suppose I was a junior in HS, watched on Zenith solid state, a tube or two, inches from the screen.

    Dad sat next to White on an AAS trip, first spacewalker, who died with Grissom and Chafee. Closest I got was sitting for Dr. Condon’s grandkids, who took over QA after the fire.

    Great one on one interview. He retired with the Apollo program.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  45. The moon landing was probably one of our greatest achievements technologically. And it happened within a couple of weeks of Woodstock. Now if you think about media coverage for those events you must agree that Woodstock is revered and thought of highly (judging by the news coverage over the past 40+ years), while the moon landing has been shuffled off to the background of important events of the 60’s or the twentieth century. It makes me understand why we are where we are today. There is little admiration given for one of the most complicated procedures ever performed by man, while simple chords played by musicians and adored by drugged out fans is celebrated as a great moment in history.

    FrankM (f488bf)

  46. @ Col Haiku,

    Yes, still remember what I was doing that day in July ’69… I couldn’t watch it on TV, had to listen to the radio as my co-worker and I set up 750 folding chairs in prep for the Concert Under the Stars at Pearson Park in Anaheim…

    When I was about 4 or 5 years old, well before 1969, we lived in Anaheim and my parents, poor college students with three small children, were always on the lookout for free entertainment for their young family. As such, they would take us to Pearson Park in the summertime to listen to the symphony that regularly played in the bandshell. No charge, take a blanket, bring a wrapped dinner and enjoy the summer night. I have vague memories of sitting in their laps on a blanket, listening to the music. Eventually we three children would start dancing and running around with all the other small fry around us. It’s a vague memory, but a pleasant one. I believe the shows ended with fireworks, too. Small world.

    Dana (292dcf)

  47. @#11/12 In fact, the famed missing ‘a’ had a lot to do with the then relatively new, small, lightweight, now primitive, pair of voice-activated microphones used in the ‘Snoopy-cap’ headsets the Apollo crews wore along with the methodology of the antenna and communications systems in their PLSS’s. Some of Aldrin’s initial radio transmissions from the lunar surface are clipped and garbled as well- to the point where he was advised by Flight to all but put the mike in his mouth to clear it up. The famed missing ‘a’ was intended, as Armstrong has stated, and in all likelihood said given his articulate speaking style, but lost in the static of the pesky clipping. More pristine tapes accessed and played with by researchers suggest it can be ‘heard’ in the loops but it remains largely inconclusive and a game for academia to prove it definitively beyond a reasonable doubt. In press conferences over the years, Armstrong had repeated the phrase w/o the ‘a’ and with it… but indicated he couldn’t hear it himself in the tapes but suggested a preference it be quoted by the press and historians with the famed ‘a’ in parentheses during a 7/16/1999 press conference at KSC celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch.

    Regardless, Armstrong’s words remain decidely more memorable than Lindbergh’s upon his arrival at Le Bourget outside Paris in 1927: “Are there any mechanics here?” And for the anti-NBC crowd, it should be noted it was NBC News reporter Jay Barbree, a long time friend of Armstrong’s and space coorespondent for NBC since the Mercury days, who was first to break the news of his passing.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  48. Why do people keep prattling on about this guy?
    SNOOKI IS IN LABOR!!!

    Icy (b29c1e)

  49. My class sat with eyes glued to the TV screen and many felt a surreal sense when this impossible science fiction dream had become reality. It was a proud national moment. He was one of our bravest, one of our giants.

    sherlock (6f7f3a)

  50. I remember looking up at the sky the night after the moonlanding and thinking: if we can do this, we can do ANYTHING. I was giddy with excitement.

    Now, I’m just old, jaded and cynical. If it happened today, I’d probably just grumble about government wasting all kinds of dough flying up to some airless rock.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  51. Nixon didn’t shut it down…hippies did. That’s exaggerating a bit, but there was considerable caterwauling amongst the left about the cost, and Nixon had to push and push to maintain manned spaceflight programs at all.

    Domestically, Nixon was among the most left-wing presidents (e.g. wage and price controls). He implemented and, ah, perfected most of the Great Society. The Libertarian Party was formed in reaction to Nixon.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  52. re: #44… small world indeed, Dana. The fireworks you recall may have been those they fire off at Disneyland, just a few miles away.

    Colonel Haiku (b69517)

  53. The wage and price controls chapped my hide and I was maybe nine. But he wanted space.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  54. One more down, only EIGHT left to go.

    ‘Bout FUCKING time we start making some new ones…

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master, and Breast Sync Professional (8e2a3d)

  55. The wage and price controls chapped my hide

    That was actually a few years after, but yeah.

    Funny how they complained about spending on the space program, “when there were so many things wrong on earth.”

    Now we still have just as many problems here on earth… but far fewer dreams to balance that out.

    Just saying….

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master, and Breast Sync Professional (8e2a3d)

  56. .

    Why do people keep prattling on about this guy?
    SNOOKI IS IN LABOR!!!

    Now WHY am I not surprised Obama gave her a job in the unions…?

    😀
    .

    Smock Puppet, Like... Duh? (8e2a3d)

  57. Nixon had to push and push to maintain manned spaceflight programs at all.

    Johnson retiring didn’t help, either. That was his baby after JFK was assassinated. The Pork project for his constituents. That’s why Mission Control was in Houston, it was originally going to be with everything else at Cape Kennedy.

    Smock Puppet, Like... Duh? (8e2a3d)

  58. And James E Webb, no relation,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  59. I wish I could come up with a Neil Armstrong memory.

    I was alive at the time. The only thing I can recall from that general time frame was the return of the bodies from the USS Pueblo.

    I think it was the Pueblo. Some sort of memorial service. My mind’s eye recalls sailors wearing their blues. It looked wintery. Not the right time of year for the Liberty.

    It’s certainly more than obvious that Neil Armstrong was a fine man, who will be missed, and who accomplished a heroic deed that will be unequaled.

    I find myself frankly amazed I have difficulty recalling it. Jaw dropping kind of amazed. I can tell you a few things I remember about the sixties. And the Moon landing isn’t one of them.

    Steve57 (e4f960)

  60. Tumblir photo posted yesterday 8/26 over at WeaselZippers: “Obama remembers Neil Armstrong– by posting a picture of himself”. (looking up at the moon)

    elissa (a7d02a)

  61. Elissa –

    Who PICKS these photos? Hard not to be disgusted.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  62. 55 – I know they came later (was littler for moon landing). The wage and price controls seemed like a very bad idea to a nine year old.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  63. Obama’s tribute to Neil Armstrong features … a picture of himself of course.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  64. 60, 63. Daily Caller on same photo:

    “Sure, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. But only to tidy it up, so that one day it would be a suitable resting place for Obama’s kingly gaze.”

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  65. Teh One isn’t even looking at the moon in that photo. He’s walking towards the helicopter, with the moon behind him.

    Also, note the lack of a personal anecdote on the moon landing, itself. He was just about to turn 8 years old at the time. How did he get the news, there in Indonesia? What was his reaction?

    Icy (9d4709)

  66. Rumor has it that the DoS is rewriting the history of the Spartans. Obama lead the defense of Thermopylae.

    The one time he hated the Persians.

    Steve57 (e4f960)

  67. Also, it’s been noted that the picture itself was actually recycled from April or something like that.

    They couldn’t even bother to actually dig up a picture of Neil, or ask Bozo for a new one looking vaguely serious while thinking about Neil… they just reused one.

    The man’s an ambulatory sack of excreta. And he hires people that mimic him in every way.

    IGotBupkis -- "Faecies Evenio", Mr. Holder? (8e2a3d)

  68. Dude. I thought I had descenced the scale when it came to lowballing human nature.

    Steve57 (40573d)

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