Great documentary: In The Shadow of the Moon

In The Shadow of the MoonJust a quick note for my readers: If you have any interest in the history of the Apollo missions, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and what Tom Wolfe so eloquently called the right stuff in the novel of the same name, I can’t speak highly enough of the movie In The Shadow of the Moon.
It’s not that it’s exciting — in fact, in many spots I wish they’d used more footage (Armstrong taking the first step on the moon) and in other spots I wish they hadn’t glossed over other topics (like the problems encountered by the Apollo 13 crew) — but the focus on intimate interviews with the astronauts really gave me a sense of the excitement, the terror and the amazement of the launch, traveling in space, orbiting another planet and, yes, landing on the moon.
I’ve always been a supporter of the space program, actually, and in high school was probably one of the very few teenagers who was on the Space Shuttle (they call it the Space Transportation System inside NASA) news list. I also got the newsletters from the Voyager project as it zipped out of our solar system, starting with its launch in 1977. I still have them!
Geeky, I know, but I did end up declining a summer internship at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when I was in High School because, well, it was too far to drive from our home in Agoura. I also applied to CalTech but ended up going to UCSD instead…
Anyway, if you’re even a wee bit of a space geek, I strongly recommend In The Shadow of the Moon. Hearing the reminiscence of Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Alan Bean, Eugene Cernan, Mike Collins, Jim Lovell, Edgar Mitchell, Harrison Schmitt, John Young and the rest of the Apollo team is terrific. In addition, Apollo 13 is a great story based around the actual Apollo 13 incident, certainly one that gives you a lot more insight into what happened!

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