This week, of course, is the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I've been watching a number of the documentaries that have appeared on cable all week long. I've found them incredibly fascinating --- I've long been fascinated with the space race, for a variety of reasons. But my thoughts keep turning to a memory from some years ago.
Somehow, since I became a "grownup", I manage to find my way to Washington, DC, every few years or so --- sometimes on vacation, sometimes on business, sometimes a bit of both. My memory is from one of those early trips.
I found myself on the Mall with a day (or at least an afternoon) free for whatever I might choose to do. As many tourists are want to do, I wandered over to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and spent a couple hours there. My highlight was viewing the Apollo capsule on display there. It amazes me that three people could live in a space so small for that long, while achieving the amazing feat of making it to the moon and back safely, with less computational power than I carry around in my pocket today. It was clearly a technological achievement --- possibly one of the greatest achievements of humanity.( Collapse )