There are very few political speeches that touch me in the way that JFK's words at Rice University do. He summarised perfectly why we had to go to the Moon and why we have to go even further.
That was September 12, 1962.
Only seven years later, on July 16, 1969, a Saturn V rocket carrying Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr. launched from Cape Canaveral. Only four days later—40 years next Tuesday— Armstrong and Aldrin set camp on the Sea of Tranquility, the first men ever to walk on the surface of the Moon.
It's probably the most amazing and most technologically challenging adventure ever accomplished by humans, and a sweet victory not only for the United States, but for all of us. Standing on the shoulders of giants and thousands of years of civilization—with all its misery and mayhem, but also with the genius, love, and creativity of millions of people—humans made the impossible possible once again.
Many people fail to comprehend the breathtaking nature of this endeavour. Many of us weren't even born in 1969, where the world was on the brink of destruction. That's why this is my favourite site this week: We Choose the Moon, created by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. There you will be able to follow the trip, starting right now.
From this site—and using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or desktop widgets—you will be able for follow the mission like if it was 1969, but with a lot more detail than the public back them. There is real audio from mission control, the cockpit, and ambient sound, tweets from the astronauts, photographies and videos, showing the mission in real time.
The countdown is already in progress and all systems are getting ready for launch.
As for JFK's speech, they just don't make them like that anymore. No wonder he got Marilyn in bed. [We Choose The Moon]