Neil Armstrong & The Olympics
Those of us who were teenagers in the sixties will have special memories of witnessing the incredible feat of Engineering that enabled the landing on the Moon by NASA in August 1969. The Eagle lunar module piloted by Neil Armstrong landed in the region of the moon known as the Sea of Tranquility. For three hours Neil and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon before returning safely to Earth, thus fulfilling the prodigious ten year goal set out by President John F. Kennedy with just six months to spare.
Thanks to Neil’s bravery and skills as a pilot and Engineer and the determination of successive Presidents the project was completed, albeit at great cost, with military precision and timing within an unbelievably tight programme. With Neil’s passing the Engineering world has lost a great example to aspiring young Engineers.
Although the consequence of failing to meet targets with the games were less onerous than those of the Space Race, British Engineers today can indeed be proud of meeting time deadlines and financial targets with the superbly designed and managed Olympic structures in Stratford and the other home counties venues. Although the cost of staging the games was necessarily high and the economy has little ability to fund such a huge undertaking, the world community will view Britain today as a Country that is “open to do business” in an efficient and impressive way. Well done Britain!