Column: Out of this world moment of first man landing

There's something comforting about the moon, up there in the sky.

Wednesday, 25th January 2017, 9:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th January 2017, 10:17 am
First moon landing

Perhaps it’s reassuring to know that some things never change, so each month we see the much loved planet wax and wane, just as expected, and just as it was zillions of years ago.

I’m sure we all remember looking up at the sky, as children, and being fascinated by the great white ball up there; indeed many children’s stories related to it in some way.

So when Neil Armstrong and his co-pilots landed on it, back in 1969, we children were very excited – partly because it was a first for us, but also as it seemed such an impossibility.

I remember the day quite clearly.

My young friends and I even got to see it on television – in grainy black and white - when Apollo XI landed, just before our summer holidays, on July 20, 1969.

Who can forget Armstrong uttering those famous words:

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

I recall how emotional it was when the landing took place, but also how boring and protracted the build up to us youngsters. In fact, while the parents sat riveted, we played outside in the garden pretending to be on our own space journey!

It seemed an incredible thing, but it also seemed to herald the end of an era and a new exciting journey into an unknown future.

Things were set to change a couple of years later with decimilisation and the turn of the decade just ahead.

How well this moon landing thing seemed to belong with the 1960s too!

It had been an amazing decade, full of creativity and bravery, bold steps; not to mention the most wonderful music from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones et al.

Thus, it seemed a fitting end to a fabulous ten years.

Space was a big theme at the time too, in the world of children’s television, with early Star Trek, hugely popular, for example.

So, in these current strange and unpredictable times, it’s interesting to look at the moon, just as it always was, and think about how things used to be and how things might be in the future.

Who knows what lies ahead for us all...

And, let’s face it, heading to the moon has never been so appealing!