George R. Stewart opened Ordeal By Hunger, in 1936, with a look at northern Nevada from a 200 mile high orbit – and described the scene so perfectly that when Astronaut Ed Lu, of ISS Expedition Seven, photographed it, Stewart’s words and Lu’s photos matched precisely. In Storm, Stewart ended the book with a view from Venus, in which his imagined watcher from that world saw no sign of storms disturbing our world. In both these books, Stewart – perhaps not realizing it, or perhaps realizing it, was preparing for that great event that took place 47 years ago today: the First Step on another world.
Working for NASA, and working with Star Trek artists, I’ve been honored with some exceptional gifts that memorialize that great day. I’ll celebrate by contemplating a wonderful gift given by Mike Okuda and another gift from NASA education days.
Saturn 5 by Mike Okuda
Space flown Apollo 25th Anniversary flag, courtesy NASA. (Signatures collected later.)
Take a moment, if you will, to honor those heroes, and all those who supported them, and the artists who inspire us to follow that dream. Artists like Mike Okuda, Rick Sternbach, Doug Drexler, Chesley Bonestell, David Hardy, and so many others, who fire our imaginations to design and build ships to explore other worlds. And literary artists like George R. Stewart, who prepared us wonderfully for that First Step.
By the way, NASA has restored the entire 3+hours that Armstrong and Aldrin spent on the moon on Apollo Day I. You can see it or download it here: