Was the moon landing real or a Hollywood style special effect filmed somewhere in the Arizona desert? Conspiracy groups abound on this topic as well as many others. For example, global warming is off the Doppler Radar as a hoax for 37 percent of Americans, another 21 percent of Americans are convinced that the government is concealing the existence of alien visitors and 28 percent believe that some “secret power” is at work to dominate the world.

The Moon Landing

For the sake of this blog I’m going to assume that the moon landing was real. I remember watching it in my very first apartment. Watching Neil Armstrong descend that ladder and take that first faithful step on another world was a pretty big deal in the summer of 1969. Here are a few little known facts you might not know about that historic landing.

Not sure about you but if I’m blasting off into outer space I think I might say a little prayer just to cover all my bases. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin took Communion before the flight from his pastor. Madelyn Murray O’Hair was a prominent atheist of the day and was on a crusade to eliminate government sanctioned prayer so the observance was done in secret.

Stuff Still On The Moon

I don’t want to accuse our brave astronauts of littering but they did leave a lot of stuff on the moon. We all know about the American flag and half the lunar module when they blasted off on the return trip to Earth.

  • Armstrong and Aldrin left their backpacks. Most likely because of their weight.
  • They left a patch from the Apollo 1 mission that killed all three crew members of that doomed flight — Command Pilot Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee on April 24, 1967.
  • They left medals saluting Sovies cosmonautys Vladimir Komarov and Yuri Gagarin who also died in the quest for space.
  • They left goodwill messages from the leaders of 73 countries.
  • A symbol of peace, a small gold pin in the shape of an olive branch.

Murphy’s Law Works in Space Too

A loose circuit breaker almost left the space travelers trapped on the moon. It had accidently been knocked loose and it was responsible for igniting the engine. I would say that’s pretty critical to your survival. Buzz Aldrin to the rescue. Using a felt tip pen he was able to push the breaker back into place.

That Famous Flag

We’ve all seen the pictures of the American flag planted securely on the moon’s surface. Well, maybe not all that securely, because the blast of the module leaving the moon’s surface knocked the flag over. So the chances of getting a shot of the flag from the Hubble Telescope are pretty unlikely.

Some Final Thoughts

The first moon landing is one of those rare events that everyone remembers where he or she was and what they were doing when it happened. It was an amazing feat when you consider the technology at the time. There is more raw computing power in your cell phone than the computer guidance systems that both landed and took off from the moon. Why haven’t we gone back? Money, politics? I guess that’s a question for the ages.

Sixteen Americans have had the honor and privilege to walk on the surface of the moon. Apollo 17 was the last manned flight to the moon and the last man to walk on the moon was astronaut Gene Cernan. He wrote his daughters initials in the surface dust. They will remain there undisturbed for the next 50,000 years.