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Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Moon Landings

Men from Planet Earth first set foot upon another celestial body on July 20, 1969. I consider this to be the most significant event in all the recorded history of mankind. Another six such moon landings were carried out between 1969 and 1972. Who among us can ever forget the immortal words of Neil Armstrong as he set foot for the first time on the surface of the moon: "This is one small step for man, one giant leap forward for mankind."

At the time I was working for a bank in the heart of the city of Melbourne. Someone had done the right thing and had placed a television on the counter so everyone could watch. For a small period of time the world stopped what it was doing and looked. An estimated 500 million people worldwide watched this event live, the largest television audience for a live broadcast at that time.

It is interesting to note that the computers on both the Lunar Module and the Command Module were each the size of a shoebox. Total storage capacity of each was roughly equal to the 64K bytes of a Commodore 64 computer. The Lunar Module computer is probably comparable in speed to a pocket calculator. The people involved would not have believed the storage capacity and speed of the laptop I'm typing this article on.

But you know - they did it anyway. It shows that we can truly amaze ourselves when we set very big goals and set about accomplishing them with resolve. Really the only thing that stands in our way of achieving anything we want is the level of our belief that we can do it.

A rocket is only on course towards it's objective for a very small part of it's total journey. Interaction between the on board computer/s and the gyroscope keep returning it to it's correct course. Isn't that so much like life. As long as we have a goal, even though we may stray here and there along the path, as long as we keep going, with our objective in mind, the destination is ours for the taking. How's your goal list going? How sharp is your self-belief? Are you on course?

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A quote for you: "I think we're going to the moon because it's in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It's by the nature of his deep inner soul... we're required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream." - Neil Armstrong

And another (equally as good): "The important achievement of Apollo was demonstrating that humanity is not forever chained to this planet and our visions go rather further than that and our opportunities are unlimited." - Neil Armstrong

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