21 July 2019
Fifty years ago today humans walked on the moon for the very first, and only, time.
As Neil Armstrong took that first step into the unknown, he uttered the words that are now etched into history forever: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
It is astonishing to think that in the half a century since, we have never returned. So astonishing that conspiracy theories that the moon landing was faked continue to snowball to this day. I have to admit that there are some compelling arguments that it was all hoax. I admittedly was never really 100% certain either way.
When you consider how computing was still in its infancy at the time, it’s little wonder it appeared to be a feat that was perhaps one step too far! In fact, the Apollo Guidance Computer, used to control the spacecraft, was more basic than the electronics in modern toasters.
We often use the phrase ‘out of this world’ but usually it’s hyperbole. In this case, however, I can use it quite literally. On Monday I released the latest episode of the Mind Your Own Business podcast with a guest who can only be described as out of this world, Tim Peake.
In the episode, the British ESA astronaut, shares his thoughts on the moon landing and those conspiracy theorists who insist it never occurred. Having chatted with him before and after the recording about this too, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the moon landing happened. What an indescribably incredible feat it was.
The Moon Landing
When I asked him about the conspiracy theorists, Peake said: “There is so much evidence out there that a lot of the time these people need to make their own conclusions, I could tell them until they’re blue in the face that the moon landings happened.
“We have laser reflectors on the moon that we’re currently using. During the Apollo Mission one of their earliest tasks was to place reflectors on the moon’s surface, to this day it’s used to shine laser beams at to accurately determine the moon’s distance from Earth.
“We have satellites in lunar orbit that have taken very detailed pictures of the Apollo landing site, of the lunar buggy, the footprints are still there, the vehicles are still there, the landers are still there.”
Peake was the first Brit to complete a spacewalk, spending 186 days on the International Space Station, coming back to earth in 2016. It’s mind-blowing really, isn’t it? Of course, people will doubt that space travel actually occurs in real life; there is so much that we do not know about space, it’s almost impossible for us to comprehend going there!
Chatting with Tim, the podcasting team and I were engrossed. There are so few people who have had that opportunity. It’s humbling really.
Achieving the impossible
There are so many threads that I could unpick from the conversation. I am sure I will explore many of them in content over the next few weeks. But, speaking with Tim about his ISS mission was a real reminder that we can achieve what seems impossible.
The term ‘limiting beliefs’ has almost become cliché but it is so true. We create barriers in our minds that we can’t do this, or could never do that. Actually, if you really set your mind to it and put the work in, you can do anything you want to. It really is that simple.
Our minds are incredibly powerful and belief if the strongest tool that we have at our disposable. Consider the difference in your approach when you are doing something that you don’t believe that you are able to complete. You inevitably worry more about it, dread starting the task and often over prepare. On the contrary, when you know you can do something – perhaps because you’ve done it before – you go for it without even thinking. You know you’re capable so you just get on with it, and more often than not you succeed.
We all dream as kids of what are life is going to be like and the roles we will play when we become adults. And how many of us say we are gong to be an astronaut? I know I! Well here’s one that made it happen. It’s a fascinating story of how he eventually got there beating the most outrageous odds. I love stories that prove that anything is possible and that we should never give up on a dream no matter how impossible it may seem. Perseverance is always the missing ingredient and Tim’s story demonstrates that we should all be reaching for the stars.
So if you want to hear from a real life astronaut, he’s and amazing guy and this is definitely worth a listen.
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