Here are three more of "My Cool Things." I'll finish the last of "My Cool Things" in the next two entries.
The Apollo 11 mission gripped the world as one of the most compelling nine days in history. The mission boasted the first manned Moon landing on July 20, 1969. That day at 10:56 PM EDT, when Neil Armstrong became the first human to stand on the Moon's surface, my eyes were glued to our television screen. I was seven years old, but my parents let me stay up late to watch an event which would fascinate me for the rest of my life. Despite being absorbed in the NASA images of Moon rocks and dust being collected for analysis on Earth, I felt sad for astronaut Michael Collins. He had to remain orbiting the Moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored the lunar surface and got all the glory.
Scientifically accurate details from the Moon's surface captivated me. The astronauts appeared to bounce across the surface in one-sixth of Earth's gravity. Lunar dust which was kicked up fell directly back to the surface, leaving no floating cloud in the moon's airlessness. And when the astronauts left the Moon, the previously motionless American flag, which had been planted at the landing site, whipped as in a furious wind. This effect was caused by powerful rocket exhaust as the Lunar Module rose from the lunar surface. The astronauts' return to Earth on July 24 left me with a profound sense of wonder that the mission had been a complete success. Knowing that humans have walked on another world is astronomically cool.