Many people dream about making a journey into space sometime, or setting foot on a celestial body. And despite the fascinating images and movie footages we are able to enjoy here on Earth, the wish remains to experience this sight for ourselves. The German scientist and astronaut Ulrich Walter, recently related that the view onto the Earth in weightlessness and the realization not to be the centre, would change the individual thinking in a profound way. »Up there« in space, he was always happy.
Rubrik: Worth smiling
In 1984, the song »New Moon on Monday« was released by the British music group Duran Duran. This was deep in the 80’s, when men and women artistically draped their hair and wore gear that makes you chuckle looking at them from today’s perspective. The ambitious music video tells the plot of an underground rebel group called »La Luna«, who fight against a military regime, and who call upon the power of the Moon to help them. Back then, this was shot in the French village Noyers with great efforts during winter temperatures.
Who does not know the »moon boots« – these bulky snow boots, which appeared in the 70’s and 80’s and have taken their claim ever since in the winterly fashion scene. The Italian Giancarlo Zanatta designed the shoes, inspired by the moon landing in 1969. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore overshoes with wide soles, which provided the formal inspiration for moon boots. Zanatta took immediate care of the production of the shoes with his company called Tecnica, which is run by his son Alberto Zanatta today, and still sells up to 700,000 pair per year.
Chang’e is the Chinese moon goddess. She does not symbolically represent the Moon, like for example the Greek moon goddess Selene, but Chang’e lives on the Moon and is befriended with the well-known rabbit that is very familiar to us. But has she always been up there?
The legend says that she got there some thousand years ago. There are different versions of the story, which we don’t want to elaborate on. In any case, her husband Hou Yi plays a central role, who came to help because of his skillfulness in archery, when ten suns threatened to burn the Earth and he shot down nine from the sky.
The jazz classic »Fly Me To The Moon«, originally written by Bart Howard in 1954, gained worldwide fame through Frank Sinatra (1915–1998). His version from 1964 accompanied the space mission Apollo 10 to the Moon in May of 1969, and was played when the spaceship orbited the Moon. Further, it was the first song ever that was played on the Moon, when Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the Moon with a portable cassette player during the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.
The film is based on the book of the same title by Cressida Cowell (2003), was released in 2010 in movie theaters and became one of the most successful animations and earned nearly $500 million. Next to its impressive technical quality of the animation, it is most of all about the story of Hickup, a son of a Viking, who flies directly into the hearts of the audience, with his ability to tame dragons, which was a hostile skill to have up until then.
Even though the idea would be wonderful: this is not about trees that grow on the Moon, but about trees on Earth that grew from seeds, which orbited the Moon exactly 34 times, in a small canister, during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. For this joint project by NASA and USFS (US Forest Service), the astronaut Stuart Rosa took hundreds of tree seeds with him on this journey. Seeds of five different species of tree had been chosen: loblolly pine, sycamore, sweetgum, redwood and douglas fir. The seeds survived the weightlessness and also when the canister that contained the seeds, got destroyed in the vacuum of the decontamination chamber. The seeds had to be picked up individually after this incident.
When looking up to the full moon, you see a sphere and there is no doubt: the Moon has to be round. And we assume quite simply that a sphere is orbiting our Earth. This is correct indeed, if taking a lax approach in the definition of a sphere. The Moon is spherical, but differs considerably from the perfect shape. On the one hand it is flattened at the North Pole and South Pole, and on the other hand, its reverse side, which is turned away from the Earth, is convexed outwardly.
Bathing during the full moon or in the full moon light, is a fascinating experience, which one or the other has surely made. Two ways to interpret this is either bathing in the water at the full moon (outdoors or in the bath tub), or bathing directly in the moonlight (when the light of the Moon shines onto your skin, just like sunbathing).
There is a German poem called »Dunkel war’s, der Mond schien helle«, in which the first line has been dedicated to the Moon and which boasts special features. For one thing, nobody knows who wrote the poem, which is quite unusual coming from the »land of poets and thinkers«. For another thing, it is based on the principle of the »oxymoron«. This is a figure of speech that juxtaposes elements that are contradictory or that are created from terms which are mutually exclusive. Straight away, the first line reveals this principle, because it cannot be »dark«, when the Moon is shining »bright«.