Any language falls short in ability to fully describe the achievement of Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. and Michael Collins in their history-making exploration of the moon’s surface. It was a spectacle that kept the eyes of the world fixed on the picture tubes during every crucial moment of the daring scientific exploration.
Scientists on Earth should also continue to receive data from the expedition for weeks, months and even years later by means of a remote geophysical station set up on the moon by Armstrong and Aldrin. It consists of a precise laser reflector and one of the most sensitive seismometers ever developed.
Lasers will be beamed at the reflectors in factions of a second and by measuring the time it takes for the light to get to the moon and be bounced back, scientists can measure the distance between the Earth and the moon with an effort of no more than six inches. Such precision also will give much more accurate measurements between laser transmitting stations on Earth, and from this information, scientists will be able to learn more about Earth. This will help answer the questions about whether continental land masses are slowly drifting apart, as many geophysicists now believe. The seismometer is designed to measure moon quakes and any other shocks felt by the lunar crust, such as meteoroid impacts.
We should recognize that the lunar program has had an enormous technological effect on the United States. In learning how to go to the moon, we have advanced every part of American science and technology on a very broad front, ranging all the way from the biological and medical sciences to propulsion, navigation guidance, electronics, cryogenics — almost every part of modern technology.
Finally, the moon program constitutes a demonstration to the American people that perhaps they need rather badly, right now, to realize that we are still a very mighty nation.