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Apollo 11


  This is a photo of my pet pig which I named after Neil Armstrong in 1969.  Photo Credit: Mine
My Pet Pig Neil Who Was Named After Neil ArmstrongSunday, July 20, 1969. 

I am 11 years old. I will be in the fifth grade in school next fall.

This afternoon Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon!  That is amazing.  I really like space exploration.

I have even built my own model of the lunar module.  I made my lunar module out of a coffee can and a part from an old cream separator that was shaped like the command module.  I know it looks more like the Command Service Module, but if I use my imagination, it is the lunar module that I can land on the Moon.

For the landing legs on the lunar module I used some silver pieces from an old car antenna. The landing leg footpad I made out of the flat pieces from Ball jar lids.

When Neil and Buzz were landing on the Moon, I watched the TV up until a few seconds before the landing.  When it got close I ran outside to conduct my own lunar landing at the same time with my lunar module model.  This was a little after 3 o'clock this afternoon.

My simulated lunar surface was a big area of freshly dug dirt which had been taken out of the ground for the basement of a new house that my parents were building.  This big pile of dirt was like a  mountain on the Moon for me.  Neil and Buzz were landing at Tranquility which was supposed to be pretty flat, but I wanted a bigger challenge for my astronauts. It
also had a fair amount of sand left over from the concrete work.

I rigged a pole in the ground so that I could have my lunar module descend from orbit on a string.  To make my simulation more realistic I even had flames coming out of the engine nozzle on my lunar module.

As Neil and Buzz lowered towards the surface at Tranquility I lowered my lunar module towards its simulated lunar surface.  My landing was successful.  The engine on my lunar module went out and I ran back into the house to see how Neil and Buzz did.  They were successful too.  I can't wait until they do their moon walk tonight.

I'm really looking forward to the new house that my parents are building.  It will have running water, an indoor toilet, and even a telephone.  It's hard to believe that Man is on the Moon and we are still living in a house without those modern conveniences.  I am not complaining, it just an interesting observation.  In some ways the lack of these conveniences makes me feel more like a pioneer on the plains of Nebraska.

Monday, July 21, 1969.

Neil and Buzz did very well on the Moon walk last night.  It was pretty late before it finished, but I watched the whole thing on our black and white TV.  It would not have mattered even if we had a color TV because their TV camera was only black and white.

I tried to take some pictures again with my camera.  This time I tried something different though.  I tried color film instead of black and white.

There is a reason that I tried color film was that for splashdown. I am going to go over to my friend Kelly's house to watch the splashdown and they have a color TV.

Thursday, July 24, 1969.

Neil, Buzz, and Mike have returned from the Moon.  It was a safe splashdown.

I rode my bicycle over to my friend Kelly's house.  Since we live on a farm, their house is almost a half mile away.  They even have air conditioning!

Their color TV is really nice.  It was pretty exciting to see the splashdown news coverage in color.  I took some photos with the color film I had in my camera.

The recovery was kind of strange.  Before they came out of the space capsule they had to put on these gray suits with masks over their faces.  The TV said the reason that they did this was to protect the Earth from any germs that they might have picked up on the Moon.  I guess it could be pretty bad if a Moon germ got loose on the Earth.

They also said that the crew would be kept in isolation for a few weeks after the return.  That is planned to make sure they do not come down with some new Moon disease after they got back.

I got my film back from being developed at the drug store.  It was pretty sad though, none of the pictures that I took turned out.  I guess I should have stuck with black and white film. That at least worked for me on Apollo 8.

Since I live on a farm one of my jobs is to help out with work on the farm.  I help take care of the animals and sometimes help with work in the fields.

This summer my Dad asked me if I wanted a pig to raise for my own.  It was the runt of the litter, so I would have to hand feed it for a while.  We would keep my pig in it's own separate pen.   This pig was a cross breed between a Hampshire and a Yorkshire. 
It was gray with a white stripe across it's shoulders.

It was pretty exciting to think that I would have my own pig.  Maybe it would be a way that I could make some money.

This piglet happened to be a female, but that didn't stop me from naming her Neil.  I named her after Neil Armstrong.

Some time after Dad let me take care of Neil, I talked him into letting me take care of two more runt pigs.  Can you guess what I named them?  One was a totally white pig, she was a Yorkshire breed.  I named her Edwin Aldrin.

The third pig was white but it had black spots all over it.  It had floppy ears.  The breed of this pig was a Poland China.  This pig was a male pig.  You have probably figured it out by now, but I named this pig Michael Collins.

UPDATED : June 8, 2008
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