Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Sixth Decade of Twentieth Century

Was watching a DVD about the race to place a man on the moon. The DVD opened with the comment about the sixth decade of the twentieth century being the time when man left the Earth and first travelled to another world. That statement was of course incorrect and the person who made it had no idea what they were talking about.

How do I know this? Well I was born just under six months before the end of that sixth decade (in July 1960) and I was nine when man landed on the moon. As I was over six months old that landing did not take place in the sixth decade.

In fact man did start the journey of leaving the Earth in the sixth decade as there were a few satellite launches before the decade ended. The first man to leave the Earth was Yuri Gagarin and he did so in the fourth month of the seventh decade of the twentieth century. The first moon landing followed 99 months later with only just over 17 months of the seventh decade remaining.

That less than 100 months passed between the first man in space and the first man on the moon shows just how rapidly space technology developed during that seventh decade of the twentieth century. That they had managed two further successful landings and started some serious scientific research before the end of that decade makes it even more remarkable.

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