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RIP Neil Armstrong


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Got to admit to being a bit of an Apollo nerd, but Neil Armstrong's death has quite saddened me.

I suppose he may have been one of the most famous people ever to have lived - yet he would appear to have been a modest man, unwilling to cash in on the fame of his place in maybe the greatest ever engineering achievement in human history.

To anyone remotely interested in the Apollo program I'd recommend watching the "In the Shadow of the Moon" documentary with commentary from the astronauts themselves. It's available on Channel 4 On Demand here: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/in-the-shadow-of-the-moon/4od

One of the things that strikes you is that they are now all old men. The youngest is 76 and it there is a very real chance that there may well soon be no-one alive that has ever moved beyond low earth orbit.

The Chinese have plans to re-visit the moon sometime in the 2020's but America's own plans were shelved. NASA's fleet of robotic rovers are doind some great science but it's sending humans that truly fires the imagination.

One of the outcomes of the Apollo program was that people saw the earth for what it was - a tiny, fragile thing hanging in a vast emptiness and we have all our eggs in one basket, so to speak. I sincerely hope that someday humans will be able to sort out the mess we are slowly making of this planet but we also have to look beyond - and men like Neil Armstrong will have helped make it possible.

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