Where I Was

On Monday, July 21, 1969, at 12.56 pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time, I was among the estimated 600 million people watching the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

❤ Super Moon photographed January 21, 2019

On this day, 50 years ago, I was in primary school, Grade 1 actually – go on, take a minute to work out my age 🙂

I didn’t know what was going on.  Students from other classes cramped into our classroom and there were three of us squashed onto the bench seat that was attached to my desk.  The teachers were running around frantically trying to position the old black and white television in the best spot so everyone could see the screen, and trying to get 6, 7 and 8-year-olds to be quiet.  Not the easiest of tasks.

I remember trying to pack away my rods.  They didn’t come in a compartmentalised container back then, and there was only one way they fit back into their box.

That done, with a little assistance from the ‘all grown up’ Grade 3 girls sharing my seat, as well as panicked urging from Sister Mary Margret, I lifted the lid of my desk and put them back where they belonged.

By now the television was turned on, one of the teachers was wrestling with the antenna trying to improve the quality of the picture, and the room was (almost) becoming quiet.  The television screen wasn’t large – certainly, it wasn’t by today’s 65+ inch standards – but it rested on a trolley that raised it up above everyone’s head making it easy for all of us to see the screen.

Sister Mary Margaret had to say “Shush”, perhaps more than once to get all of us to stop talking.  But we eventually quietened down and watched history unfold.  As we did so, I remember Sister Mary Margaret clasping her hands in prayer and make the sign of the cross.

I guess, at the ripe old age of six, I didn’t fully understand the importance of what was going on, however, I do remember looking up at the Moon later and thinking about the men that were up there.

To this day, it still takes my breath away.

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

While descending, Neil Armstrong released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly on the Lunar Module’s descent stage.  It was a camera on this module that provided live television coverage of his first step on the Moon.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent 2 hours and 31 minutes on the surface of the Moon and collected 21.7 kilograms of samples to bring home with them.  (Wow!)

This was the best video I could find and I remember seeing Neil Armstrong descending the steps of the Lunan Module exactly as this (restored) footage shows.  I don’t expect you to watch all three hours and two and a half minutes of it, but will say, it gets interesting after 41 minutes and I have enjoyed watching it, albeit in bite-sized chunks over the last few days.

A close-up view of astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s bootprint in the lunar soil, photographed with the 70mm lunar surface camera during Apollo 11’s sojourn on the moon. (Image Source)

o o

This is my next entry in my Blue Moon Squares as part of Becky’s ‘Blue’ Square in July photo challenge.

Author: Clare

Ever-expanding one star at a time, my cosmos is a galaxy of thoughts and creativity where you can find poetry, short stories, photography and so much more.

14 thoughts

    1. We did have a TV at home, one of those vintage 50’s black and white ones with its own big box on legs and a screen that was neither square or flat. The TV at school was a newer model and, although it was smaller, at least it was up on a trolley so we could all see those famous steps.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I was away at camp… didn’t get to see it! So last night Sweet Man set it all up for me on TV last night and we got to see it! Unbelievable!

    It’s time to start exploring space again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Watched it last night for the first time, and found it so extraordinary. What an incredible moment . . I read somewhere they actually spent longer on the surface but were inside their capsule for the remaining time, including a sleep!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. According to the mission overview on NASA’s website, they had a four hour rest period after landing. I don’t think I could have ‘rested’ at all. I’ve have been jumping out of my skin.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Can you believe they were ‘on the surface’ for 21 hours, 36 minutes? Including a seven hour sleep before commencing their ascent for the return journey.

        Liked by 1 person

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