please empty your brain below

I was in my last year at primary school, and deliberately refused to watch it. This was because (i) I was cheesed off that the Americans had beaten the Russians; and (ii) I automatically disliked things that were popular (I was refusing to watch Morecambe & Wise at the time too). Not a lot has changed regarding the second characteristic.

So all I remember is going for a walk, and seeing images of the lunar landing through peoples' windows.

My general agreement with your view that there ought to be more space exploration is currently fighting it out with "Gordon Bennett, not again", when yet another moon item turns up on the TV and radio...

I wonder if its more expensive going to the moon than to....Iraq, Afganistan, etc etc etc.

Another technological triumph from the 60s was Concorde. Why don't all planes fly to the US in two hours now we are in 2009?

"We have the technology but we will ignore it!"

I was a bit older but remember my father excitedly waking me up at 3.00 a.m. in the morning to watch it.

One debate we have at work is whether the chip in your credit card or Oystercard is already more powerful that the computer used for moon landings.

I had a whole set of Apollo stickers stuck all over the place. I probably made an Airfix model or two as well. I'm still not convinced by the walking on the moon footage which I put in the same category of quality coverage as Crossroads or Thunderbirds. I'm not surprised people lost interest.

Good to see that small children went to nursery on Saturday mornings in 1969!
I was just starting my summer holiday and sat up most of the night, with increasing excitement, yet I've never been interested in space travel. This was something very special.

dg writes: The first moonwalk was on a Monday morning, UK time. Honest.

Space travel has always fascinated me. I think it would be a tragedy for us not to go back. Whilst it wouldn't be fair to say we are going backwards I remember reading an article saying the rate of progress in 1976 was the peak, and has been declining since then. At this time Supersonic air travel was just becoming a possibility and it really looked as if the other side of the world would be only a few hours away. Now, unless you join the military, it's not an option.

Not a natural commenter on your blog I found myself nodding like a donkey all the way through. I was allowed to stay up and watch it live and it's coloured my whole expectation of humanity. Which is now shattered in disappointment. I really thought we'd get to Mars before I died. Piss.

If you haven't seen the documentary film "In The Shadow of the Moon" - go and do so.

dg writes: It's on Channel 4 tonight at ten past midnight.

I heard someone on the radio say that in all the literature (fiction and non-fiction) foreseeing humans landing on the moon, no one foresaw that it would be watched live by the general population on Earth. I don't know whether this is correct, but it's an interesting point.

Gil Scott-Heron's perpective was a little less awestruck. I've never been sure, given his body of work, whether this is a humourous take or not, but I lean towards not.

I remember it well, I was 8 at the time. It never ceases to amaze me they did it with the technology they had then.

I think you've hit the nail right on the head there. The thing is that the moon landings have now been achieved. There's no longer any big imperative to send men to the moon, especially because of the costs involved. I agree with you that this is a great shame.

I was 10 years old and my sister was supposed to wake me up. She didn't, and I have never really forgiven her. (I was in the eastern US, so while past my bedtime, it really wasn't all that late.) I still get excited to watch a liftoff even of a satellite.

As much as I am fascinated by space exploration though, I don't think we can really justify spending trillions to send people to the Moon or Mars. The robots that have been sent have achieved marvels. The Space Station is a lovely point of light (go to
to find out when it will be visible from your location) but doesn't seem to actually produce much science.

I love your comment about It's Your London. I thought it might be a misprint, 200 pounds. I guess P.T. Barnum is still alive. To your list, you could add some of Rev. Wright's free London walks and a TFL bus map.

Actually, maybe there is a day's post worth of hints on how to get around, how to find out what is on (Ian Visits)and other tips to make a visit to London a great one. But then again, maybe having been to London so many times, I have forgotten how hard it is to get around when you don't know the systems.

I think one of the underlying threads running through the comments is economics. Concorde no longer flies because it is not profitable. We haven't been back to the moon since Apollo becuase there is no profitable reason to do so. Hundreds - if not thousands - of satelites have been launched into orbit in this time because they help people make money. Simple as that.

On the plus side, the moon's environment is still practically intact and barely touched by man - its not like we have a great track record down here, is it?

Nice words. I was four too. Watched it with a Sainsbury's Ginger Nut and a glass of Sainsbury's orange cordial.

(Slightly disppointed that this article does not have a DG photograph taken from his w/e excursion to the surface of the moon. Must try harder.)

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