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BLAST! logo and Buzz Aldrin's bootprint on the moon. Can't see? Click to view in your browser.
Hello again friends, I hope all's good with you. This week, of course, we're remembering that one small step.

MAN ON THE MOON: Fifty years ago, three amiable strangersβ€”a cool-headed former military leader, an accomplished and brilliant engineering thinker and a prodigious yet enigmatic experimental pilotβ€”endured months of training before riding a rocket containing little more than its own fuel. Backed by 400,000 engineers back home, two of these men then landed a craft on the moon's surface, disembarked to take samples and photos, before all three returned safely to Earth.

The world was gripped by the Apollo 11 mission to set foot on the moon. This significant anniversary is once again capturing the collective imagination even technology's advance is rampant. Not only were these the first moonwalks, they're among very few: twelve humans have walked on the moon's surface, all within only forty-one months.

Conversely, thanks to long-running crackpot conspiracy theories, a surprisingly high number of people choose to believe the moon landings were faked even though it'd be impossible to fake the footage and proof of the mission is beyond reasonable refute. Cynicism comes easy, but the pride derived from an involvement in the Apollo missions is tangible. Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad, as just one example, were proud to have manufactured kit that went to the moon, and continue to be proud now.
(Several media outlets have big sections on the moon landings; I've linked to the good ones in brackets)

🌎 The Apollo 11 astronauts' surreal worldwide tour: upon their return, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins bundled around the world on a demanding rockstareque world tour. (more from Fast Company)

πŸŒ” Four things you may not know about the first moon landing: Geek out on the extraordinary technical achievement (more from BBC News)

πŸš€ Is It Time to Play With Spaceships Again? We have yet to fully answer the question: why send humans into space? (more from New York Times)

πŸ‘©β€πŸ”¬ These young scientists will shape the next 50 years of Moon research: profiles of five researchers who are shaking up lunar exploration. (more from Nature)

πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ€ Here's why women may be the best suited for spaceflight: generally smaller, less prone to effects of spaceflight, personality traits more suited for long missions and more able to populate other worlds. Sound practical reasoning. See also: interview with Margaret Hamilton, Apollo computer scientist; Judy Sullivan, Lead Engineer for the biomedical system; and JoAnn Morgan, the only woman in the control room.

πŸ“­ How We Sent Man to the Moon Without Email: by actually talking to one another. Remember that?

😒 In Event of Moon Disaster: Nixon's backup speech in case it wasn't possible for the Apollo 11 crew to return.
Moonage daydream: Why did the moon landing capture the imagination to such an extent? Perhaps because the moon is so engrained in earthly cultures. Not only in pop culture as diverse as Bowie, Wallace & Gromit and Tasmin Archer), it's prevalent in much of art, from 19th Century Japanese prints to etchings, cartoons and photographs of all kinds.

Yet despite all this study, there's still much we don't know about the moon. There's renewed interest in returning and even political ambition, but also concerns about how not to ruin the moon in the process. There's also strong arguments for heading elsewhere instead, be it Mars, Jupiter's moon Europa or instead exploring asteroids. Even if we stuck with moons, there are nearly 200 others in our Solar System.

If your appetite for Apollo 11 is still unquenched, there's the brilliant 8 Days: To the Moon and Back and the To the Moon and Beyond podcast, as well as the incredible Apollo 11 movie and even a moon-themed issue of Electronic Sound magazine.

As for me, there's nothing like the moon landing to reignite my boyhood fascination with all things space-flight. So, with Space Oddity playing loudly, I'm returning to assembling my new LEGO Lunar Lander. It came in pieces, for all mankind. πŸŒ–
Finally: With all this moon stuff going on, sunshine.fyi shows you how much daylight you have left today. Perhaps a reminder to make the most of the daytime. β˜€οΈ

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πŸ’₯BLAST! · c/o relating.to ltd. · 160 City Road · London, EC1V 2NX · United Kingdom. Andy, did you hear about this one?


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