In Monday’s Year 3-6 Assembly, we reflected upon the first Moon Landing (20 July 1969), the vision, persistence and overcoming adversity that led to the amazing feat at the time.
We shared the story that, after gathering some Moon samples, taking some pictures and raising the American flag, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin returned to the Lunar Module, only to realise that a switch on a crucial circuit breaker had broken. This particular broken switch left them without a way to ignite the engine, so they tried to sleep while the mission control team at NASA tried to find a way to repair it. Eventually Aldrin decided that enough was enough and jammed his pen into the mechanism creating a make-shift switch. The quick-fix worked and launched both Aldrin and Armstrong off the lunar surface. Mistakes happen even on the moon!
We also talked about Alan Shepard, who was the fifth and oldest astronaut to walk on the moon. His is an interesting story, being the first American into space, but then subsequently having to suffer being ‘grounded’ from Space flights due to Meniere’s disease. His perseverance and vision led to him finally landing on the moon in 1971. He is best known for having hit a golf ball on the moon, but he states he was so overwhelmed at having achieved his goal of walking on the moon, that when he finally had the opportunity to gaze back upon Earth from the moon, he “…cried for several long moments.”
Bernie Bolch, grandfather of Adrian, Casper and Josie Pang, then showed us a card of his that has Neil Armstrong’s autograph on it, and Bernie told us of the day he met Neil, and complemented our facts about the moon landing with many of his own.
The moon landings provide us with another opportunity to talk about dreams, courage, resilience, successful failures and history.