by Sara Granfors
After many years of preparation, worldly anxiety, and a seemingly everlasting struggle, we did it. On July 21, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong and his colleague Buzz Aldrin stepped foot on the moon. What some had claimed to be impossible was now a reality. So what do the first humans on the moon do? They take a picture. Well, actually, Neil Armstrong took the picture. Buzz Aldrin just stood there and looked suave in his astronaut suit. The exciting moment is forever captured in this photograph.
Why is this picture so famous?
Nowadays, we tend to think, "Oh yeah, a guy on the moon. That was so last year," but during the 1960's this was a big thing! America had just won the space race against Russia. Humans had just gone through space, and survived on the moon! As Neil Armstrong stated, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." This had never been done before and people wanted to see it with their own eyes. The photograph of Buzz Aldrin proves that we really did go up into space and walk around on the moon. Everyone wanted to see it. There are actually FOOTPRINTS on the moon because of these men, and that's why its famous.
Background on Neil Armstrong
Armstrong was 38 when he landed on the moon, but he had done far more than that in his time. He was not only an astronaut, he graduated college with a degree in aerospace engineering. He was a naval aviator in the Korean war for three years, flying over 78 missions, and a test pilot for seven years at Edwards Air Force Base, flying over 200 aircraft models. He later became a university professor at the Univeristy of Cincinnati. As you see, he never obtained any degree or career in photography. Our dear Armstrong was simply an airman.
I, personally, love this photograph. I'm a sucker for astronauts, the moon, stars and anything of the sort. I mean, imagine how excited they were! They must have also been in awe of the wonders they were beholding. The composition may not be great, but who can blame him? He was no photographer. He was just taking a photograph to mark the day, just like when parents take pictures of their children on their first day of school. It wasn't meant to be pretty, it was meant to show what actually happened! It's so unique because there was only ONE first trip to the moon, and only ONE first footstep on the moon, and only ONE Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstorng. It doesn't show much excitement because Aldrin is just standing there and you can't see his face through his mask, but if you know the history, you can just sense the excitement. Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing.