Thanks to the nice folks at PhotoJPL.com, you can hang out with Buzz and Neil at Tranquility Base. Click through above for complete lunarcy. That amazing experience was stitched together from photos that Armstrong himself took.
And so Armstrong was an icon fit for America’s particular predilections: one who made history, yet one who recognized the ultimate contingency of his own history-making. One who, Washington-like, preferred quiet retirement over continued fame. After he walked the heavens, James Fallows noted, Armstrong returned decidedly to Earth and to “a life lived deliberately away from the limelight and with scrupulous attention to avoiding any controversy or indignity that might reflect upon the space program of which he’d played such a crucial part.”
Thus Armstrong’s ongoing place in the American imagination. We’ve needed figures like him, with their stories of retiring heroism, because the alternative — fame sought and obtained — has been less palatable to our moralized conceptions of achievement. We have constrained our notions of success with our competing notions of how, properly, success should be achieved.
There’s a rare ‘blue moon’ on Friday, a fitting wink to Neil Armstrong by the cosmic calendar.
A touching, if coincidental, tribute.
But as Neil pointed out the other day: Blue moons are not rare. They happen more frequently than Presidential elections.
And yes, I did just refer to Dr. Tyson as Neil. We’re tight like that *notreally*
Just Wanted To Clear Something Up …
Mad love for ya, Wil Wheaton … but Neil was always the guy comfortable behind the camera, just doing his thing.
Browse more shots from Apollo 11. Here’s one of the few of Neil on the Moon. Buzz was definitely more of the “I’m gonna Instagram my toes in the sand” kind of guy. He used the Hasslblad filter.
I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace and propelled by compressible flow.