Saturday is the fiftieth anniversary of one of the most important achievements in human history: the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Over the last few weeks I’ve been reading books, watching documentaries, and listening to podcasts about Apollo.
I plan to write more about it over the next week as we near the anniversary. For now, I’ll just say I find Apollo incredibly inspiring. I tear up every time I think of the words inscribed in the base of the Eagle lander, which was left behind on the lunar surface:
Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.
There are lots of lessons in the Moon program for anyone tasked with aligning and motivating people towards wickedly complex goals. (That’s why we refer to particularly gnarly challenges as “moonshots.”) If you’d like to look into it, here are a couple of resources that are worth your while:
- APOLLO 11 (2019) - A breathtaking new documentary assembled from contemporary (yet astonishingly clear) footage and audio sources. I also loved the synthesized soundtrack; like the film, it manages to sound both modern and of its time.
- 13 Minutes to the Moon - A podcast from the BBC World Service that features interviews with surviving members of the Apollo program, including astronauts, mission controllers, and more.