Since we’re now in the eight-day period where 50 years ago the Apollo 11 mission was taking place – this will be the first of three posts dedicated to the moon landing.
I thought we’d get the biggest question out of the way: did we actually land on the moon – or was the event just a big hoax? For one reason or another, our space program has yet to do anything bigger than the lunar landing with its astronauts since – and technically, our manned space program is in mothballs and has been now for eight years. We provide astronauts to be launched on Russian Soyuz rockets, yet we don’t have spacecraft of our own for the time being.
I was born in September of 1971 – two years and a month and a half after Apollo 11’s inaugural lunar trip, and when Apollo 17 made our final lunar journey to date, I was all of 15 months old. I’ve spent most of my life living on the west coast of Florida about 150 miles away from Cape Canaveral – though I once visited the Kennedy Space Center once in 1982. My memories of the space program seem to be the saddest chapters of its history – the Challenger disaster of 1986, and Columbia’s failed return home in 2003.
As for the moon landings being hoaxes, I’ve always been one to put that in the “not entirely impossible but improbable” category. I don’t think every conspiracy theory out there is a totally impossible notion – I’ve wondered if Lee Harvey Oswald really did kill JFK in 1963, for example, and what the true motivations were for killing the President. I’d say for every one conspiracy theory that’s real, you could probably find 10-20 that aren’t.
But the moon landings being hoaxes – that would seem to me to be a tough one to keep covered up all of this time that has gone by, so I’d say no.