- Posted August 27, 2012 by
Muntinlupa City, Philippines
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Remembering Neil Armstrong
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Neil Armstrong’s Walk On The Moon Highlighted Humanity’s Quest To Explore Space In The 20th Century
- nsaidi, CNN iReport producer
Neil Armstrong was among the iconic figures who symbolized space exploration during the 20th century. Before Armstrong’s walk on the Moon, humans have told tales about the possibility of creatures residing on such “satellite”. Also, so many poems, essays, science-fictions, urban legends and epic tales were written about the “Moon”, but it was Armstrong who actually became the actual symbol of “humanity’s conquest of the Moon.” I have been fascinated by Armstrong’s courage and willingness to travel beyond the Earth’s atmosphere in order to set foot on the Moon. In fact, many kids all over the world during the 1970s and the 1980s have actually aspired to be astronauts due to Armstrong’s heroic walk on the Moon. Some of such kids who aspired to be astronauts during those decades are now working as scientists, engineers and space explorers. I’m sure Armstrong’s walk on the Moon would continue to inspire people everywhere to become brave in exploring the still unknown frontiers here on Earth and out there in space.
Armstrong’s walk on the Moon has a unique impact on me. Such “walk” inspired me to become more aware about the wonders of nature and universe. Though I didn’t become a scientist nor a science-fiction author, I became an ardent environmentalist due to the inspiration derived from such a “moonwalk.” Such moonwalk encouraged me to know more things about the environment and, also, to seek out more effective means of protecting the environment and natural resources from pollutants and abuses. Armstrong’s moonwalk proved to me that humans can make wonders by just being determined and courageous in what they’re doing. Therefore, Armstrong’s walk on the Moon gave me the courage and determination to fight for the protection of the environment and ecological balance. I actually started being an environmentalist when I was growing up as a teen-ager. Let me make it clear that it was from a science teacher of mine back in my high-school days that I became fascinated with Neil Armstrong. Such high-school teacher of mine would always discuss to us how Armstrong’s determination and courage made it possible for humans to set foot on the Moon. My teacher’s frequent discussion of Neil Armstrong made me look upon the first man on the Moon as one of the “greatest explorers” who have ever lived here on Earth. Armstrong’s moonwalk somehow inspired me to be ecology-conscious. Such a “floating walk” gave me the idea that there’s no place like Earth here in our Solar System, and that Earth is up to now the only viable home for human beings.
Many people don’t know that Armstrong actually took up aerospace engineering in college before he actually started training as an astronaut. I remember when I was a kid that some grown-up people in our neighborhood would say that “Armstrong was a scientist before he became an astronaut.” Since I was still a kid and an elementary student back then, I would just believe such urban tale. It was only when I reached high school that my teachers enlightened me that Armstrong actually took up aerospace engineering and he never intended to become a scientist. But I already know during my high school years that scientists and engineers are actually partners in explorations, scientific researches, technological innovations, inventions and even in the development of new industrial processes, chemical compounds, vaccines, medicines, and energy sources. Science and technology would be incomplete without inventors, engineers and medical doctors. The same is true with space exploration.
Armstrong wasn’t the only one who walked on the Moon when Apollo 11 went to the “Earth’s natural satellite.” Armstrong’s fellow-astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin also walked on the moon during Apollo 11’s mission to that place. But it was Armstrong who first set foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969, therefore making him the very first human being to do such thing. Aldrin was the second human being to set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong was also the commander of Apollo 11- the very first manned space mission that was sent by humans to the Moon.
When Armstrong stepped foot on the moon he said, “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." I’m sure such an iconic scene made a huge impact on young people’s minds during the last 30 years of the 20th century. Such scene highlighted the “giant leap” that humanity made in conquering the moon. Though the moon was not actually colonized by humans during the Apollo 11’s mission on that satellite, Armstrong and the other 2 members of the said space mission paved the way for the possible establishment of human settlements on the other habitable parts of the solar system. Armstrong and the other members of Apollo 11 also led the way for the possible sending of more manned space missions to various parts of the solar system and beyond. Hence, Armstrong’s walk on the moon can now be considered as one of humanity’s monumental successes in the exploration of space.
Armstrong’s walk on the moon marked the beginning of the “high-tech era” of computers, electronics, and automated machines. Since that walk on the moon, computers have become very important in every human endeavor. Computers nowadays are being used for entertainment, fun, games, communication, and in the dissemination of information. Now it can be told that the ingenious computer systems were able to guide Apollo 11’s astronauts across 356,000 km of space from the Earth to the Moon and did return them safely. Apollo 11’s lunar programme actually led to the creation of safety-critical systems and the practice of software engineering to program those systems. Much of the knowledge that have been gathered from the “Apollo 11 programme” forms the basis of modern computing. Hence, the “Apollo 11 programme” was somehow influential in the development of the “modern-day computers.”
Armstrong would always be remembered as the very first astronaut who was able to walk on the Moon. Humans would always be thankful for the determination and courage Armstrong had shown when he personally went to the Moon. Armstrong’s one small leap on the Moon paved the way for the possible launching of several manned space-explorations in all throughout the Solar System. Such small step highlighted humanity’s quest of exploring the Solar System during the 20th century. Humans today still have a long way to go in exploring all the planets and moons in the Solar System, but at least we know that such a journey or exploration has already started after Armstrong had successfully set his foot on the Moon.
(Note: I have 2 favorite photos of the Moon that I captured this year using my digital camera. I like both pictures, that’s why I presented both of the images in this iReport. The first photo depicted the Moon as not that big, and it was like a white ball in the skies. The first photo showed the reality that the Moon is much, much smaller than Earth. The second photo showed what the Moon looks like when passing between the Earth and Sun. In other words, the second photo was about a recent solar eclipse as it had been seen in Muntinlupa City, Philippines. Both photos were captured this year 2012.)