• Simon Birdsey

50 years since the first moon landing

Just one small step (each day) for man...

I love a good theme and the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing has given me lots of opportunities for ticking off boxes on my board.

I've tried to watch as many documentaries as possible and the knowledge and enthusiasm with which Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain talk about the subject on the Stargazing special is infectious. It's opened my mind to watching future editions of the programme and developing an interest in astronomy.

In my previous post I mentioned Mudita, which is the pleasure that comes from other people's wellbeing. And watching the childlike awe of Brian and Dara as they meet Apollo 11's CapCom (and one of only four living people to have walked on the moon) Charlie Duke is a joy in itself.

It's easy to take the moon for granted but events such as this give you a greater appreciation and awareness of the wonders of the Universe (environment).

One thing that struck me is that Neil Armstrong's pulse never went above 100 bpm during his time on the moon and that's in the range of a resting heart rate for most people. How could he stay so calm? I believe in the theory that, barring disabilities, we all have the same capacity to think alike. And by learning about the experiences of the three brave astronauts I'm hopeful that I can improve my ability to put thoughts of what could go wrong out of my mind and focus on the adventure ahead.

There are lots of events taking place across the UK to mark the anniversary. Most notably, Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, which played a key part in tracking the progress of Apollo 11, is hosting free drop in sessions where you can get your hands on pieces of Moon rock brought back by the Apollo astronauts (learn). They're also hosting a 'Girls Night Out' event in October, welcoming Dr. Katie Joy from the University of Manchester to talk about her work as a planetary scientist with a special focus on the Moon and meteorites.

BBC Radio 2 have a show on the iPlayer and Sounds app called Moonbathing which explores how artists from Haydn to Bernard Herrmann and from David Bowie to Brian Eno were inspired by the space age (pleasurable).

If you'd be interested in meeting new people (social) there are lots of astronomy clubs across the UK and this site provides a handy list.

It's easy to take the moon for granted but events such as this give you a greater appreciation and awareness of the wonders of the Universe.

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