The Anniversary of the Moon Landing
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The Anniversary of the Moon Landing

The First Moonshot. On July 20, 1969, the universe, as we know, opened up. That was the day that Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong uttered the profound words we all know by heart – “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 53 years later, as new photos from the James Webb telescope blow our minds and reopen our imaginations to the endless wonder of space, that first footstep on the moon still feels as awe-inspiring as ever. In honor of the anniversary of the moon landing, we’d like to take a look back.

The US flag is planted on the moon. Photo: NASA

The “one small step” Armstrong speaks of came eight years after John F. Kennedy boldly set the goal of landing man on the moon, and, of course, after traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours. For the history buffs out there, this timeline of the Apollo 11 mission adds a whole other layer of perspective.

The event that left all of America (perhaps all of the world) gobsmacked also represents a cosmic convergence of AO Eyewear history. First off, JFK, a frequent wearer of the AO Saratoga, led the effort to put man in space. As he said to Congress in 1961 – “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” (You can watch the full speech here.)

Secondly, AO Eyewear landed on the moon that day, too. Each Apollo astronaut was outfitted with a survival kit. That kit included a pair of the FG-58 (now called the Original Pilot) for use upon reentry to Earth. The FG-58 issued to the astronauts were 52mm in size and featured gold frames, Calobar green glass lenses, bayonet temples, and a special “space case” that could be kept in a pocket in the arm of their jackets. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum even holds a pair of the glasses worn by astronaut, Michael Collins.

Michael Collins Apollo 11 Sunglasses, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

 

It wasn’t just sunglasses that American Optical contributed to the space program. You can learn all about American Optical’s fiber optics breakthroughs that helped to make space travel possible from the Optical Heritage Museum

To celebrate the anniversary of the moon landing, we’re wearing our Original Pilots all day, speaking in Armstrong-isms, and will spend extra time admiring the moon entering its last quarter tonight.

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