By the Light of the Maybe Moon Landing


If someone asked to me to sum up what is great about my country, I would probably tell them about Apollo 11, about the four hundred thousand people who worked to make the impossible come true within eight years, about how it changed me to see the space-scarred Columbia capsule in a museum as a child, about how we came in peace for all mankind. Yet I feel the built-in pointlessness at the heart of Apollo as much as I fiercely admire it—it’s the same pointlessness shared by any artistic gesture.

Today is the 46th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. Over at Longreads, an excerpt from Margaret Lazarus Dean’s Leaving Orbit about Buzz Aldrin, the moon landing hoax conspiracy, and the end of the space shuttle era, and how we consider these enormous possibilities and endings.

Jeannie Yoon makes poems, essays, videos, music, cookies, and lots of very ambitious and meticulous to-do lists. More from this author →