As an eighth grader growing up in the far-flung Northeast, my source of information was limited to radio and the newspaper which would arrive late in the afternoon from Kolkata. With bated breath, I followed the journey of Apollo 11 to the moon and back. I recall listening to news of the successful return of the astronauts over radio and getting jolted by an earthquake at the same time. The night sky always fascinated me and the moon landing spurred my curiosity, perhaps shaping my eventual career path. Apollo 11 inspires me even now, every working day, as I go past the huge gantry at NASA Langley Research Center, which was the Lunar Landing Research Facility. This is where the astronauts practised the last 150 feet of descent and walking on the moon (famously, when Neil Armstrong was asked how it felt to be walking on the moon, he replied: “like Langley”!).
(Jayanta Kar is a scientist at the NASA Langley Centre, Langley, Virginia)
Jul 19, 2019 07:10 IST
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