- In 1957, USSR launched the Sputnik.
- Soon, Yuri Gagarin became the first cosmonaut to orbit the earth.
- USA was left behind in the Space race.
- NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was formed.
- President Kennedy’s historic speech : “Before the decade is out, we will send men on the moon and bring them safely to earth” gave momentum to the NASA projects.
- Mercury Project and Gemini Project were followed by Apollo project.
- The Apollo 1 fire (causing the death of three astronauts) caused a set back.
- In December 1968, Apollo 8 orbited the Moon.
- Apollo 9 and Apollo 10 tested the Lunar Module and the critical systems.
- In July 1969, Apollo 11 made President Kennedy’s dream a reality.
- My poem was submitted by my mentor Ashin Ananda to USIS/USIA (which forwarded my poem to NASA)
- The poem was published in the Guardian Dailly.
- The Eagle is the code name for the Lunar Module.
- The three men are
Neil Armstrong [Mission Commander],
Michael Collins [Command Module Pilot], and
Buzz Aldrin [Lunar Module Pilot]
MEN ON THE MOON
The Eagle made a soft descent
And perfect rendezvous
Does not the module represent
A fantasy come true
To travel through that cold void space
To have that faith in science
To face death squarely in the face
Yes, man acted with defiance
Man set foot on an alien world
In July Sixty Nine
That small step from the bravest man
Was a giant leap for mankind
The walk in one sixth gravity
Rock samples from the moon
Three men who spoke with brevity
For science what a boon
No event can ever equal
That sublime unique mission
The Apollo’s triumph will make the people
Extend their own vision
Are we not brothers here on earth?
So let us all unite
There will be heaven here on earth
If we all cease to fight