Revisiting The Apollo-Era In Kidulthood

I have written before about early retirement feeling a lot like a second childhood. It’s the opportunity to have all of the advantages of being an adult, while also re-indulging in the joys of childhood. It’s ‘Kidulthood’, if you will.

Today, I thought I would expand on that idea by sharing the time I am spending revisiting the most exciting historical event of my lifetime: the Apollo Missions to the moon. They culminated in the lunar landing exactly 50 years ago this coming July.

I am just a bit too young to remember the 1969 moon landing itself, but recall watching the final Apollo launches and lunar missions in the early 1970s on our basement black & white TV with my brothers. It is not an exaggeration to say that my elementary school years were shaped, culturally, in a big way by the moon missions. It was a source of national pride, an amazing scientific achievement, and demonstration of individual courageousness that made a big impression on a kid growing up at that time (all the way into the 1980s Space Shuttle era).

For the last few years, I’ve enjoying tracking the Golden Anniversaries of the Apollo Mission milestones and learning the history of each step better than I did when I was a kid. I’ve been reading a great book – called ‘Man On The Moon’ – watching movies (including the great new Apollo 11 documentary), visiting museums with NASA history, listening to podcasts, building a LEGO Saturn V rocket with my son, and exploring the NASA archives online.

Happily, early retirement has allowed me to spend time on these things and understand it in a new way that I couldn’t have understood as a kid. I’m sure if I was working full-time right now, I would be much too busy to delve into the mission details the way I have. It’s one of the small, but fulfilling, gifts of early retirement to take this walk back in time and enjoy it all again.

Anyone else enjoying this sort of ‘Kidulthood?’

Image Credit: Pixabay

3 thoughts on “Revisiting The Apollo-Era In Kidulthood

  1. I love anything to do with the Apollo landings… Time to nerd out with NASA! I love it!

    I was four years old when The first Apollo mission landed on the moon. I can actually remember watching it on our black and white TV like it was yesterday. It was surely one of the greatest events in human history, and even at only four years old, I was completely mesmerized! I even received a small tube telescope for Christmas the following year, which opened a whole new world to me! I bought a relatively inexpensive light bucket many years later, and still have it in my home office today! I still love to pull it out and look for the Apollo landing sites on the moon on a good night. You obviously can’t see anything viable from the actual landers or landing equipment with an earth-bound telescope, heck even Hubble can’t distinguish Apollo equipment on the moon, but it’s fun to locate the approximate landing sites when the moon is positioned properly. Here is a great older BBC article/link with some good moon maps, if you have any interest in locating the actual Apollo landing sites. Nerd out to your heart’s delight!



    1. Interesting. Thanks for forwarding that link! I have to admit, I’ve never even heard of a ‘light bucket’ before – so I had to Google that just now. That looks like a pretty sophisticated piece of equipment. I have a telescope in the garage – I’ll have to get it out when the moon starts waxing in a week or so.


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