Watched the launch of the Space X Demo-2 Falcon carrying NASA Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley in the Crew Dragon today.
Back in the early 1960’s we were fortunate to read about and watch mans first exploration of space starting with Yuri Gagarin on 12th April 1961 in his Vostok 1 spacecraft:
Picture By SiefkinDR – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12403404
and followed very quickly by Alan Shepard on 5th May 1961 on the Mercury spacecraft Freedom 7
Picture By HrAtsuo – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18049282
Then followed the Gemini and Apollo projects, culminating with the highlight of the Apollo 11 launch on 16th July 1969 atop a Saturn 5 rocket from Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39A; crewed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. The Luna Module Eagle landed at Tranquillity Base at 20:17 UTC on 20st July 1969 and, at 02:56 UTC on 21st July, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on another world.
By NASA – NASA Human Space Flight Gallery (image link), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=102412
By NASA – NASA website; description, high resolution image., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4934985
I watched this historic event as a 21 year old and remember feeling very emotional and proud of the achievement even though I’m not American.
I felt the same way today as I watched the Space X launch with it’s modern and sleek lined crew module launch from that same pad, 39A.
Hopefully I’ll still be around in 2024 to see the next landings on the moon and be able to still say “I belong to a generation that has seen it twice”