"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Apollo 11 Anniversary and the Lunar Library

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the first man on the moon. 

What was once an interesting federally funded space race followed by a couple of decades of amazing explorations and discoveries seemed to lag over the last generation. Federal funding minimized and American astronauts have been forced seek a ride with China or Russia to get into space. 

While NASA has never ceased its missions entirely, its focus has been with an eye towards the exploration of Mars. The Orion projects have been slated for crews in the 2020's. 

Privately funded missions to orbit our planet have become more frequent in this century. Great strides have been made both by scientists and businessmen to learn more about what lies beyond our orbit.

In February, Elon Musk launched a Tesla Roadster with a dummy payload for the Falcon Heavy test flight and became an artificial satellite of the sun. 

More recently, this spring a black hole was discovered at the center of Galaxy M87. Scientists and students worldwide are still reeling from the newest images and seeking to understand the resulting implications.

Yet, with all of these new discoveries, man has not forgotten the first steps to the moon. In fact, new missions to the moon are being planned. 

Perhaps even as a precursor to manned missions to mars, and as a guide for any possible visitors from elsewhere, SpaceIL  Beresheet Lander carried an "Arch Lunar Library". This is the first in a planned series of lunar archives prepared and maintained by the Arch Mission Foundation, a non-profit organization that tasks itself with maintaining a billion-year history of Planet Earth.

The records include millions of images of pages of books. For more details, read the overview of the Lunar LibraryThe article is a bit long, but it’s an interesting read.

In the meantime, you might consider visiting several areas this week in celebration of the 50th anniversary: a NASA location, a Smithsonian, or other history/science museum.

So, if you were going to include a book for the Lunar Library what would it be? Anything that you feel should NOT be included? Are you doing anything to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I only vaguely remember it happening live. Amazing how far we've come.

Susan Kane said...

July 1969, I had just graduated from H.S., happy to escape that hell. I sat alone in front of the b/w TV, alone, watching history happening. Will always remember it.