Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The topic I chose was the Apollo lunar mission. When I was presented with a sample topic sheet for this project, none of the topics appealed to me. I was pondering my predicament, when I learned that Neil Armstrong, the first man to step foot on the moon, had passed away. The news got me thinking. I thought, and talked to others, and came to the conclusion that there was a lot of tension during the time that president Kennedy launched the mission. And, for one moment, 600 MILLION people were watching the same thing, sharing the same thought, and living the same dream. I wondered what kind of an effect that must have had on society, and so I decided to research it.
I conducted my research by searching for sources at the Philadelphia Historical Society, where I found many primary sources relating to the Civil Rights Movement. In NASA’s archives, I found many press releases, photographs, and footage of the missions. I searched at my local library and the internet for secondary sources, and also used some media that I already had on hand.
This topic relates to the theme of “Turning Points in History” because we entered the Apollo era as a tangled web of movements, beliefs, and enemies, and came out of it as a more unified society. It also ushered us into the era of space exploration that we live in today. It advanced our technology, as many of the things we take for granted today were initially developed as part of the Apollo missions.
Also, the Apollo missions created a new era in space exploration. Before and during the mission, countries raced each other to achieve milestones faster. During Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, where America and the Soviet Union, two bitter rivals, spent about five years preparing to dock their capsules together in space, a new philosophy emerged. Countries working collaboratively for the advancement of humanity as a whole. This led to many advances in space travel, such as the Shuttle-Mir program (again, between Russia and America), and eventually, today’s International Space Station. The ISS is like the United Nations Building, because it belongs not to one country, but to the world as a whole.
I chose to make a documentary, because I have made them before. It is a fun process, and I love to “direct” my own production. I am considering video editing as a future job. I am familiar with the technologies involved, and I knew how to go about making my documentary.
This project has been the most difficult project I have ever done. I have had my challenges, but I also have had my share of enjoyment. I loved the fact that I was “discovering history,” and answering a question by forming the answer myself, and not by looking it up in a textbook or online. It was a rewarding experience, and I am glad that I could take part in it.