When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 2 September 2012

Neil Armstrong’s death last week created news headlines worldwide. We indulged in some harmless nostalgia for a turbulent decade in another century that now belongs to a very different era.

For many of us who experienced it, the memory of Apollo 11 Moon landing is indelible. But did they really go to the Moon? Some still ask this question, all these years later. Was it all an elaborate hoax?

The Apollo Program had twin goals: to land astronauts on the moon; and to send back live TV transmissions so that everyone could see it – including the rival Russians and their allies.

To their credit, the Soviet Union accepted the Moon landings with good grace, although it meant they lost the Great Space Race where they scored some impressive initial victories.

But not…

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