Wednesday, July 17, 2019


First Day of Issue from my childhood stamp collection. 

At around 20.17hrs UTC (Coordinated Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time) on the 20th July 1969 I watched as the Eagle lunar module from Apollo 11 touched down in the Sea of Tranquility crater. We were watching this live on television in Myrtleville, Cork and were then packed off to bed about midnight as the moon walk was not scheduled to take place until after the crew had had 4 hours rest and then taken another 3 hours for their pre-module exit preparation protocols.

Near Side Moon Landing Sites (adapted from National Geographic Magazine 07.2019)
and US Postal Service Commemorative "Forever/USA" Stamps (19.07.19)

Thus the walk was scheduled for about 08.00 Irish Summer Time (1 hour later than UTC) in the morning, a perfect time for Irish TV viewers. However, as it transpired, Armstrong decided he did not need a rest (last thing I'd imagine any of us would insist on having just landed on the moon) and having initiated the 3 hour preparation schedule was ready to exit the module at about 02.39 UTC (03.39 Irish Summer Time). My father, who had stayed up, hauled us out of bed and the grainy images on a dodgy tv, subject to terrible atmospherics, became the centre of the universe for all of us. The wonderment and the possibilities of human achievement have remained with me since. 

My Grandson Leon looking up at the site of the Shackleton Crater
on southern pole of the moon where lunar space base is
planned to be situated, allowing staging point for trip to Mars.

JFK promised the world he would get a man on the moon and was even prepared to share this endeavour with the Russians.

DJT does not want to go back to the moon (..or maybe  he does since after all the moon apparently is a part of Mars!!!), but whether he does or he doesn't (have a moon bone in his body!) he doesn't really want to share the experience with anybody beyond the US border fence (even if the EU are already shipping components for the necessary Mars staging moon base planned for the Shackleton Crater on lunar south pole) because of "Defence" concerns. I suspect, given the marketing opportunity even if not "Science" he would be prepared to have a Trump International resort flag planted near where Alan Shepard, on the Apollo 14 moon landing mission, hit two golf balls with a modified Wilson 6-iron.