This week marks the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch and Moon landing. Carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon on June 20, 1969 after a 4 day journey across the sky. It was to be the first time a human being set foot on a celestial body that wasn’t Earth.
These astronauts carried with them an assortment of technical and scientific experiments, a television camera with which to send images and sound back to Earth, and the Lunar Flag Assembly (LFA). The LFA was a specially designed flag and pole with an added arm that extended at a right angle from the primary pole to display the flag in the windless atmosphere of the Moon’s surface. The flag itself was made by Annin & Co., America’s oldest flag manufacturer and was left on the Moon’s surface when the astronauts returned to Earth.
Since the Apollo 11 mission the image of the astronaut with the flag has become an icon for human achievement. Representing what has to be the boldest adventure into the unknown that humankind as embarked upon. And while this image serves as a reminder of how far we’ve gone, it should also remind us of how far we have yet to go.