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NewsWhat’s Changed in 50 Years after Apollo?

What’s Changed in 50 Years after Apollo?

While there’s no shortage of commentary on the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, I think it’s appropriate a club sharing this magic number should have its say too.

In the same way looking up a 50-metre ladder seems further than looking down one the same distance, so too is the difficultly of imagining a world in 2069, compared to the less daunting task of picturing life in 1969 – a year well recorded and even worshipped.

I’m sure the folk back in 1969 felt the same about 1919 which must have seemed to them truly in the olden and rather darker days.

Their take on the span of 50 years could be seen in the development of the Zeppelin airship to the Saturn V rocket which was a mighty transition.

So what similarly dramatic changes have there been since man first walked on the moon to compare to nowadays?

Technology such as computers, the internet, artificial intelligence, streaming TV, the list goes on, would probably dominate most peoples’ answers.

You may have your own favourites but those sometimes mentioned as NASA spinoffs, such as microwave ovens and non-stick pans, actually predated the space race.

NASA list some of the benefits in no special order as GPS, cordless vacuums, memory foam and scratch-less sunglasses.

But for me the real wonder, as we’ll see again this month, was the sheer size of the rocket and the towering ambition to take three men to the moon and bring them back safely again.

The 110m high three-stage Saturn V rocket, the largest ever built, was launched 13 times between 1967 and 1973 with no loss of crew or payload.

My strongest memories of the time were not only watching the moon landing in the middle of the night UK time but also building a Lego scale model of this revolutionary rocket.

I recall the kit was quite costly at the time and has been re-issued now for about $150. It might be nerdish but I’m going to buy and rebuild it as a personal homage to those heady days.

Yes there have been incredible developments since the moon landings and there will be many more to follow but in my lifetime there’s never been anything like the Apollo program.

Others may disagree but in 50 years from now what awe-inspiring images or risk-taking might we have to rival what happened in 1969?


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