In 1990, I had the pleasure of meeting with Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon in his hotel room at the Hyatt in Melbourne. He had been a speaker at a conference and whilst at the bar later one of my buddies came up with the bright idea of inviting him down. Instead he told us to come up his suite where we sat and listened to the most amazing adventures for well over an hour.
So did Neil Armstrong walk on the moon? My belief is that he did, and the whole conspiracy theory of it not happening, including the footprint, flag blowing in the wind etc has been proven by the TV show ‘Mythbusters’ that it actually was possible and did occur. In fact they proved every one of the actions the theorists said as being fake as actually being real.
More so that ‘Mythbusters’ was the stories Neil told us – of how they calculated the speed of the landing module using a graph drawn on the window in a china-graph pencil and logarithm tables, or how those first words ‘One small step for man – one giant leap for mankind’ just came to him as he felt he should say something.
You see Neil was originally a fighter pilot having been addicted to planes since he was 7 years old. Then after flying over 70 missions in Korea he became a test pilot, then one of the first pilots accepted into the NASA program as an an Astronaut. It makes me ask you and I these questions:
- Where have we been pioneers in our field?
- What will we be known for?
- What risks have we taken to get where we are?
- Do we constantly keep challenging ourselves or are we comfortably numb?
Neil’s life wasn’t always great. He mentioned he was head of NASA when Discovery blew up killing all aboard. IT was with deep sorrow he remembered that. With great power comes great responsibility. When you do something awesome, remember you are human.