As the New York Times headlined on July 22, 1969 “Even in Hostile Nations, the Feat Inspires Awe: All the World’s in the Moon’s Grip, Even Countries Usually Hostile to the U.S. World Leaders Express Hope for Future of Man.”
Or as astronaut Neil Armstrong said: “One tiny step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The US had been racing against the Soviets ever since the Soviets launched Sputnik in 1957. When Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the earth in 1961, President Kennedy made the bold promise to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth before the end of the decade.
And so….July 21, 1969: Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. A short time later he was joined on the moon surface by astronaut Buzz Aldrin. While they explored the moon’s surface and collected lunar samples, Michael Collins piloted the Apollo 11 spacecraft.
Space exploration has long captivated the imagination. We followed the unmanned space vehicles, the amazing first voyages of manned flights, the landings on the moon, the research on Mars, reusable space shuttles and the Hubbell space telescope.
On the third floor there is a book display covering some of these topics and events. Also check out the DVDs in the media section about space travel.
Far from the competition of the 1960s more than fifteen nations are cooperating now on the International Space Station, an inhabited earth satellite. Today we also have greater capability to watch what is happening in outer space. If you are intrigued by the ISS, check out the live video from NASA . Or check out the views from the Hubbell Space Telescope.
News Flash: from 540 million miles away a message was received on July 4 confirming that the Juno spacecraft has started orbiting the planet Jupiter! NASA launched Juno nearly five years ago. Its mission is to study the composition of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. To learn more about the mission and to follow Juno check out NASA’s site. These space feats never fail to amaze!
-posted by Brenda, Reference Librarian