I like this particular footage, even though it is not as iconic as some of the shots from the tower. It’s what the folks at home saw and heard that day in July, and you can hear the tension in the voice of the guy narrating the countdown. One of the marvelous things about aviation is that it is a proving ground for human potential. Every time I go up, whether in a Cessna 172 or the Boeing 747 that will take me overseas in two weeks, I feel a direct link to some of the greatest triumphs in human history. Things that were not possible. Unthinkable. In defiance of the conventions of the time. We owe much to the space program, and indeed, to all of the test pilots and scientists who did not survive the experiments that brought us so far so fast. In the end, the Apollo missions were not just about the moon but about expanding the scope of human possibility, a feat we can all take pride in as residents of the good Earth.
After all these years, I can STILL remember sitting in front of my parents black and white TV in their bedroom (the only room air conditioned in our home – a window unit at that!), mesmorized by this launch. Still give me goose bumps!