IT was a pleasant summer evening. The date was 20th July and the year read 1969. The clock had run past 4 (Eastern Daylight Time) and the people on Earth were glued to their television sets, watching with enthusiasm, the black and white telecast of humans landing on the Moon.
For those unfortunate ones, who couldn’t watch the history being made, live, the BBC was broadcasting an on air commentary.
“If you have just tuned into the special bulletin, the Washington has confirmed that, today, the 21st of July, 1969, the United States of America has successfully landed man on Moon.”
The event was so big that, The New York Times, for the first time ever used a 96 point headline – “Men Walk On Moon”. News channels around the world were relaying the same video footage. There was excitement all over. Happiness rocked the air. The festival of humanity had begun.
Three astronauts – Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins had landed on Moon. NASA’s Apollo-11 mission had been successful and the long cherished American dream achieved!!
The Mission Commander of Apollo 11, Neil Alden Armstrong, was now the new face of heroism, ready to rock the science books for generations to come.
AS the Eagle touched down the powdery surface of moon, Armstrong radioed the most melodious words for any space partisan, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed“.
The mission control erupted in celebration.”Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on ground. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot”, replied the ground controller Charles Duke.
At 10:56 pm, six hours after the touchdown, the humans had among themselves a man who walked on alien soil; Armstrong had set his left foot on the moon.
“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind“, his words read as he climbed down the spacecraft ladder.
Hearing this, a wave of happiness spread through the blue planet. People started celebrating the biggest achievement of mankind. There was excitement all around. It was like a grand picnic. Children raced between TV sets and balcony, looking at the moon, wondering if they could see their warriors in the sky. Those who had telescopes or binoculars, gathered at beaches, eagerly watching the epic moment. Everyone was rejoicing in the beauty of the present. Humanity now governed the moon.
Richard Nixon, the then President of United States, made the most historic telephone call ever, the first call to a man on moon. He congratulated Neil and his team.
The White House now basked in glory. It stood high in pride in front of the Soviets. The Space War had ended and the United States was its winner..
This post is a tribute to one of the pioneers in the history of mankind – Sir Neil Armstrong. May his soul rest in peace.