There are very few political speeches that touch me in the way that JFK's We choose to go to the moon does. Seven years later, Humanity's biggest daydream became a reality. Today you can follow the adventure in real time.
Almost 40 years ago, on July 16, 1969, a Saturn V rocket carrying Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr. launched from Cape Canaveral. Only four days later—40 years next Tuesday— Armstrong and Aldrin set camp on the Sea of Tranquility, the first humans ever to walk on the surface of the Moon.
It's probably the most amazing and technologically challenging adventure ever accomplished, and a sweet victory not only for the United States, but for all of us. Standing on the shoulders of giants and thousands of years of civilization—with all its misery and mayhem, but also with the genius, love, and creativity of millions of people—humans made the impossible possible once again.
Many people fail to comprehend the breathtaking nature of this endeavour. Many of us weren't even born in 1969, when the world was on the brink of destruction. That's why this is my favorite site this week: We Choose the Moon, created by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. There you will be able to follow the first trip to the Moon in real time, starting right now.
From this site—and using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or desktop widgets—you will be able for follow the whole adventure like it happened in 1969, minute by minute. This time, however, you will enjoy a lot more details than the public did back them. There is audio—from mission control, the cockpit, and ambient sounds—tweets from the astronauts, photographies and videos, showing every aspect of the Apollo 11 mission.
The countdown is already in progress and all systems are getting ready for launch.
As for JFK's speech, they just don't make them like that anymore. His words at Rice University summarized perfectly why we had to go to the Moon and why we have to go even further, choosing challenges not because they are easy, but because they are hard. No wonder he got Marilyn in bed. [We Choose The Moon]