‘America’s moon shot, the Apollo Program and Armstrong’s moon walk was the fruition
of John F. Kennedy’s vision and it happened two presidents after JFK’s historic Texas speech.’
CAPTAIN’S log, Stardate 3113.9, subjective time…” Starship Enterprise of the United Earth Space Probe Agency was thrown back to the past due to a black hole, then chased as a UFO by the United States Air Force. Fictional time travel, yes, still Season 1 Episode 19 of American sci-fi TV show Star Trek: The Original Series purposely or inadvertently but accurately predicted that humankind’s first moon landing would occur two-and-a-half years after the episode’s premiere in January of 1967.
We bring to your attention this special screening of the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk, Commander Spock and their crew-mates in observance of World UFO Day (last 02 July 2020) and commemoration of Apollo 11: “When the lunar module lands at 4:17 p.m. EDT, only 30 seconds of fuel remain. Armstrong radios ‘Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.’ Mission control erupts in celebration.”
“Aldrin joins him shortly, and offers a simple but powerful description of the lunar surface: ‘magnificent desolation.’ They explore the surface for two and a half hours, collecting samples and taking photographs. They leave behind an American flag, a patch honoring the fallen Apollo 1 crew, and a plaque on one of Eagle’s legs. It reads, ‘Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind’.” [https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/apollo11.html] Neil Armstrong’s recollections of the first known human to walk on Luna were recorded by journalists and historians, to wit:
Ambrose: “I wanted to ask, I have heard or read somewhere that there are only two man-made objects on Earth that can be seen from the Moon, and that one of these is the Chinese [Great] Wall and the other is the Fort Peck Dam [Montana].”
Armstrong: “I would challenge both. We could see continents, could see Greenland. It stands out, just like it does on the globe in your library, all white…But I do not believe that, at least with my eyes, there would be any man-made object that I could see. I have not yet found somebody who has told me they’ve seen the Wall of China from Earth orbit. I’m not going to say there aren’t people, but I personally haven’t talked to them. I’ve asked various people, particularly Shuttle guys, that have been many orbits around China in the daytime, and the ones I’ve talked to didn’t see it.” [Neil A. Armstrong, Interviewed By Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose and Dr. Douglas Brinkley, Houston, Texas, 19 September 2001, NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project]
America’s moon shot, the Apollo Program and Armstrong’s moon walk was the fruition of John F. Kennedy’s vision and it happened two presidents after JFK’s historic Texas speech. Richard Nixon had a telephone talk with the Apollo 11 crew while the astronauts were still on the moon. President Nixon: “Hello Neil and Buzz… Because of what you have done the heavens have become a part of man’s world. And as you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to earth.”
Armstrong: “Thank you, Mr. President. It’s a great honor and privilege for us to be here representing not only the United States, but men of peaceable nations, men with interest and a curiosity, and men with a vision for the future.” [Delivered 20 July 1969, Oval Office, White House, Washington, D.C., USA; https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/telephone-conversation-with-the-apollo-11-astronauts-the-moon]
It was also a July (20th in 1976) when the first Terran spacecraft successfully landed on Mars, Viking 1, as part of a mission to investigate the Red Planet and search for signs of life. “Operating on Mars’ Chryse Planitia for more than six years, Viking 1 performed the first Martian soil sample using its robotic arm and a special biological laboratory. While it found no traces of life, Viking 1 did help better characterize Mars as a cold planet with volcanic soil, a thin, dry carbon dioxide atmosphere and striking evidence for ancient river beds and vast flooding.” [https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/viking-1/]
These were the accomplishments of the yesteryears. Today? “While continuing to exploit operations on the International Space Station, Europe is setting its sights on the Moon, preparing for a robotic landing in partnership with Russia as early as 2023 looking for water ice that scientists believe may be found in the dark polar regions.” [Forward to the moon media kit, European Space Agency] Who else?
(1) Jeff Bezos, the vision of Blue Origin and the idea of space tourism with reusable rockets. “We are building a very large orbital vehicle. We have been working on that for more than five years. It will fly for the first time in 2020. The key is reusability. This civilization I’m talking about of getting comfortable living and working in space and having millions of people and then billions of people and then finally a trillion people in space.” [https://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-bezos-interview-axel-springer-ceo-amazon-trump-blue-origin-family-regulation-washington-post-2018-4]
(2) Republic of India and its Department of Space.“Chandrayaan-2 mission is a highly complex mission, which represents a significant technological leap compared to the previous missions of ISRO, which brought together an Orbiter (GSLV Mk-III launcher), (Vikram) Lander and (Pragyan) Rover with the goal of exploring south pole of the Moon.
This is a unique mission which aims at studying not just one area of the Moon but all the areas combining the exosphere, the surface as well as the sub-surface of the moon in a single mission.” [https://www.isro.gov.in/chandrayaan2-home-0]
(3) Arab world’s first Mars probe. The Hope orbiter (built by the United Arab Emirates together with US partners, launched successfully 20 July 2020 from the Tanegashima Space Center near Minamitane, Japan) is the first interplanetary mission from any Arab state. [https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02170-2]
(4) The Australian Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have been in close cooperation on JAXA’s asteroid sample-return mission, ‘Hayabusa2’. The sample capsule is planned to land in Woomera, South Australia this 06 December 2020 (Australia/Japan time). [https://global.jaxa.jp/press/2020/07/20200714-1_e.html]
We hope these spacecraft will not encounter any Klingon birds-of-prey or Emperor Ming the Merciless for that matter. As JFK envisioned: “For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace.” [Rice University, Houston, September 12, 1962].