Apollo Celebrates 40th Anniversary

It's a temptation, watching many of the 40th Anniversary retrospectives, to think of the Apollo space program as a triumph of power and industrial might. The superpowers' space programs were, of course, political and chauvinistic, designed to showcase national wealth. But there's a better way of looking at the program, Dennis Wingo reminded me recently. Masses of money helped put man on the Moon of course, but the Moon program is really a tale of engineering improvisation and human organisation.

Space expert and entrepreneur Dennis Wingo put the first webserver - an Apple Mac - in orbit, for just $7m, and has helped piece together a lot of historical material that NASA didn't appreciate at the time - and forgot about, or wiped. There is one piece of kit in particular that encapsulates two stories: NASA's negligence, and the quite amazing improvisation of the engineers. It's the Lunar Orbiter, which mapped the moon's surface prior to manned descent. Wingo painstakingly recovered and restored much of the imagery it took, Register reports.

Several websites and news sources have been revisiting the Apollo 11 launch and moon landing in order to celebrate the mission's fortieth anniversary. The launch originally occurred July 16, 1969 and the landing on July 20—over the last few days, a lot of commemoration has been going on, Ars Technica reports.

Speaking at an Apollo celebration at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, Neil Armstrong enjoyed a standing ovation before sharing his view of the achievement that carried him to the moon, concluding with a simple, heartfelt "Apollo was a good thing to do.", CNET News reports.