Using computers that were less powerful than a pocket calculator, let alone as sophisticated as a smartphone, NASA and the brilliant engineers who designed and built the Apollo spacecraft saw their efforts come to fruition 45 years ago tonight. Separating from the command module Columbia, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the surface in the lunar module Eagle and touched down in the Sea of Tranquility.

This has to be considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, technological achievements in human history. Navigating to the tolerances required to rendezvous with the moon and being able to successfully pilot a craft to the surface is only surpassed by the fact that all the Apollo lunar missions returned their crews to Earth safely.

Today is a day to reflect on what was accomplished and to ponder the potential of human ingenuity. As a species, history has shown that we can accomplish virtually anything if we put our minds to it.

For more details on the Apollo 11 mission, click here.

Pencil on Strathmore Multimedia board. Click on the drawing for a larger version.

Chevon Walker and the Ottawa RedBlacks take on the Toronto Argonauts Friday night at TD Place, the renovated Lansdowne Park stadium. Walker is one of the bright spots in Ottawa’s 0-2 start, rushing for 154 yards and scoring 3 TD’s for the expansion RedBlacks. QB Henry Burris will need to be sharp against the Argos if Ottawa is to notch its first win of the season.

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Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins liftoff from Cape Kennedy on the mission that would put a man on the moon 45 years ago today.

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Two big space firsts celebrate their anniversary today, the first man in space and the first launch of the Space Shuttle.

Yuri Gagarin was sent aloft in his Vostok I spacecraft in on this day 1961 and completed one orbit before returning to Earth. He became the first human to go into space as well as orbit — his mission really accelerated the Space Race that began with Sputnik and concluded with Apollo 11.

In 1981, Columbia became the first Space Shuttle to go into orbit with Apollo veteran John Young and Robert Crippen aboard. The shuttle or Space Transportation System (STS) proved itself a reliable vehicle and was retired in July, 2011.

Jim Brown turns 78 today!

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