Mon, 15 July 2019
Huntsville, Alabama will celebrate the anniversary of putting the first men on the moon this Saturday — probably Houston and Cape Kennedy will too — but TechnoRetro Dads kick off the half-century celebration Monday morning with 77 minutes of lunacy as the 15th episode of the 7th season airs on the 15th day of the 7th month. The zaniness all started when JediShua’s doorbell rang as he was expecting a birthday present to arrive…
Science Lesson: Apollo 11
On 16 July 1969, a Saturn V rocket launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida at 9:32 AM, beginning the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Four days later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin successfully landed on the moon, putting an end to the “space race” between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. The world celebrated the landing confirmed by the immortalized words, “The Eagle has landed,” only to be surpassed by Neil Armstrong’s statement as he placed his footprint on the moon’s surface, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Although some still debate whether the moon landing was genuine or an elaborate hoax, the excitement of those watching and listening on July 20, 1969 briefly united the world as mankind reached their greatest height to date.
TechnoRetro Arcade: Lunar Lander
Ten years after the first manned mission to the surface of the moon, Atari capitalized on the public’s continuing interest in the moon and space with the vector-graphic arcade game Lunar Lander. The original 1979 game was made of simple graphics constructed of white lines on a black background as players tried to land their lunar module on small, level sites on the surface of the moon before running out of fuel or crashing. Points are earned for each successful moon landing until the player’s supply of fuel or “lunar landers” are exhausted.
Saturday Mornings: Moon-Adjacent Cartoons
In the ‘70s and ‘80s (even the ‘90s), lots of spacetastic cartoons (not necessarily moon-oriented). JediShua, shazbazzar, and Jovial Jay talk about Bravestarr, GoBots, Gilligan’s Planet, Space Cats, and Yogi’s Space Race. A live-action show called Far Out Space Nuts gets an honorable mention because of its relationship to Gilligan’s Planet (Bob Denver).
Let’s Go to the Moonvies: Apollo 13
Ron Howard’s film based on the third mission to put men on the moon is an amazing combination of historical facts and Hollywood effects that continues to stir the emotions of audiences today. The 1995 film is mostly faithful to the events that transpired before, during, and after the “successful failure” of the Apollo 13 mission of 1970 that prevented Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton), and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) from completing their mission and landing on the moon. SPOILER ALERT: Even though they didn’t land on the moon, these astronauts successfully returned to Earth after circling the moon.
Also noted are other “moon landing” movies like First Man, The Right Stuff, and Airplane II: The Sequel.
Thanks for tuning in to TechnoRetro Dads, EarBuds! While you’re waiting for a brand-new episode, why not read (or lazy read) Michael Witwer's Empire of Imagination? But don’t forget to rate and review TechnoRetro Dads on iTunes, share us and with us on social media, get TechnoRetro merch at TeePublic, and join discussions on Discord about toys, cereal, games, movies and/or shows from the ‘70s and ‘80s by giving the ‘Dads your feedback via voice mail at (209) 878-7323 or sending us your mp3dback via electronic-M to podcast@TechnoRetroDads.com.
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