Last week was moon week! We landed two people on the moon fifty years ago. Did you hear? It was the only "first" we had in the space race. We dogged the Russians in every other achievement.
I heard the phrase "the U.S. was the first to land two men on the moon and return them successfully to the Earth" so many times it began to sound suspicious. Did someone else land one man on the moon? Could Luna 15 have crashed hours before we got there instead of after? Did the Russians land someone who didn't successfully return? I remember all the Lost Cosmonaut theories that once seemed so believable.
Because splitting hairs is in my nature, I have to ask any Apollo 11 conspiracy theorists out there: at what point do you stop believing the moon landing? I can't imagine you deny the liftoff, because thousands of ordinary citizens were there. The splashdown: how do you fake that? Catapult a lunar module into the stratosphere that then floats down in the cheery red and white striped parachutes? So then, do you believe we went into earth orbit, orbited for eight days, televised a faked landing, then splashed down? And then did that five more times, with one extra sweeps-week version for Apollo 13?
I recently had an argument with Gary about returning to the moon and launching the Mars rocket from there. He thinks it's too dangerous. I say, dude, that's not the spirit. I even said, "We do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hahd."