It’ll soon be the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. On that Sunday 500 million viewers worldwide tuned in, mostly on black and white TVs, to watch the Lunar parking. I missed it myself, only three at the time, and probably in jammies in bed. Now for the older, wiser (?) me the buzz words “over eyes” and “pull the wool” knit my brows. Was this a big hoodwink?
You could say I am an agnostic Moon Landing conspiracy theorist because I believe it could be 50% right. Firing a rocket with men in it to the moon seems possible. It’s the getting them back that puzzles me. The spaceship has shrank, there’s no scaffolding on the moon that can support/straighten Apollo’s back to earth trajectory and the computerised age of steering things is in its infancy. No drone technology here, only rotary dial phones. Cars in the 60s were basic beasts and prone to breakdown, what chance a ship going all those light years without any wear or tear? I mean, even the communication system was on the blink and the sound man missed an a on Armstrong’s rehearsed script.
I blame Concorde.
Earlier that year the supersonic turbojet made its maiden flight. This wonder of Anglo-French engineering stunned the Yankees. Already, embroiled in cold war and space race antics with the Soviets, they couldn’t believe the Old World was making a comeback and in partnership. Longinus! It was as if the Hundred Years War never happened. Ergo (es my first, my last, my everything) they had to gazump the rest of the world with an extraordinary extraterrestrial voyage employing stage managed stagecraft. And a lot of folks bought it.
One good by product of the moon farce was it generated an industry of dark sided jokes about the enterprise. There is probably more wisecracks about the adventure than there is stars in the universe. I’ve tried my hand at adding to the list.
Q: What was the first song Neil Armstrong punned when he landed on the moon?
A: Park at the Moon.