"Lift off! We have a liftoff!"
With these words, the world watched as Apollo 11 slowly struggled to hoist its massive body skyward—and the world moved into a new age of science, technology and understanding.
Sitting on the launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Apollo 11 was actually a "stack" of different parts, each section to be disposed of after use, starting from the bottom. Only the very top of the rocket, the part that held the three astronauts, would (hopefully) return to Earth eight days later. Indeed, most of what we saw on the launch pad were the fuel segments to get the spacecraft off the ground and away from the Earth's enormous gravitational pull.
It is estimated that over a million people watched the countdown and lift off in-person—crowded onto the fields, beaches, even the highways surrounding the space center. And over 600 million people around the world (about a fifth of the world's population) watched it live on television.
In the fifty years since Apollo 11's lift off, we have grown inured to the rapid pace of technological advancement. Indeed, today's iPhone has more computing power than the entire NASA program enjoyed in 1969. Nevertheless, it's important to stop and consider what an achievement it was to foresee every potentiality and calculate a response to that challenge (often with paper and pencil). Has any new technology since then carried with it such a high risk, enormous visibility or opportunity for catastrophe? Launching the Apollo 11, landing on the moon, and returning to Earth was America's last, greatest high wire act.
The bronze rocket bank, shown above, includes zero technology—aside from the modest screw which allows the piece to be opened and re-closed. Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.
See you on the moon!
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
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