Warwick State High School teacher Stuart Watt is amazed at what man has achieved.
Warwick State High School teacher Stuart Watt is amazed at what man has achieved. Warwick Daily News

How 'one small step' changed mankind

STUART Watt was in Year 12 on July 20, 1969, when the first human landed on the moon.

On the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Warwick State High School (WSHS) science teacher said it was shortly after his lunch break when “it happened”.

“Most of my colleagues (at WSHS) are too young to remember... they missed all the history,” Mr Watt said.

“I went 'oh wow'- it was a wow thing... you could actually see Neil Armstrong coming down the ladder and get down the ladder and bounce down with both feet.

“It was a grainy image. I actually remember the countdown.”

He believed there were a stack of things to prove man definitely landed on the moon and it was not a hoax.

“I would think it's awfully costly and there is nothing to be gained in trying to send man back on the moon,” Mr Watt said.

“If you take the spacecraft to the moon, you have to use a lot more rocket power to get off the moon's gravity.

“I think if anybody has a decent brain, it does not matter where or when you live, you will find interesting things at the time.”

Mr Watt said the next thing to look forward to was man landing on Mars.

“There was life in Mars at some stage - it would surprise me if there were no fossils,” he said.

“We have come a long way; Isaac Newton was a genius and said 'If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulder of giants'.

“The work we are doing now rested on the space work of Apollo 11.”

Mr Watt said 2009 was a good year for astronomy.

“Later this year Europeans are working on sending an impact spacecraft to the moon. They reckon there ought to be some ice on the moon,” he said.

“If there's water on the moon, it's possible to have a manned colony or research centre there.”

Warwick resident Neville Black said he was so enthused at the time of Neil Armstrong's moonwalk.

“It was absolutely amazing and it still sticks in my mind,” Mr Black said.

“You could look at the reflection in the guy's helmet and I thought what amazing technology age we live in.”

Do you remember the moon landing? Leave a comment below and share your story.

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