Back in 1969, Neil Armstrong became the ultimate explorer, as the first human to step on the moon. News of Neil Armstrong’s death today will have reminded millions of those unforgettable Sixties days when we slipped free of our planet for the very first time.
I was nearly six in July 1969, and enthralled by the drama of the first moon landing. I explained why in my blog post on the 40th anniversary:
I’m lucky enough to remember the excitement of July 1969. I was just five at the time, and about to finish my first year in school, at Bishop Perrin in Whitton, Middlesex. Our teacher, Mrs Carol, explained to us that the Apollo 11 space mission was trying to make history. We listened to radio reports as the mission unfolded, but not the actual landing, which happened in the early hours of a British Saturday morning. She made clear the risks Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins faced as they headed for the moon: the chance that the ‘satellite’ (presumably the orbiter) might crash to the surface of the moon, leaving all three men in mortal danger. Happily, as we all know, the mission was a triumphant success.