Neil Armstrong was my hero not because he walked on the moon but because he seldom spoke about walking on the moon, or anything else to do with himself. Declining to call attention to his improbable achievements was one of Armstrong's improbable achievements, an act of genuine humility. C.S. Lewis wrote: "True humility is not thinking less of yourself. It's thinking of yourself less."
Newt Gingrich has absorbed a fair degree of ridicule for his campaign proposal to build an American colony on the moon. Before focusing the laughter solely on Gingrich, however, let's recall that it is the declared policy of the U.S. government to return a human being to the moon by 2020, in preparation for sending a human astronaut to Mars. If Gingrich is wrong (and he is), he's not wrong alone.
Ice hockey has a reputation for televising poorly. "You can't see the puck!" the fans cry. Even ESPN, which buys up the rights to every sport this side of musical chairs, let the National Hockey League go. So what's happened? NHL ratings have soared, and the league just signed a new contract with Comcast, doubling its previous figure.
"That's one small step for NASCAR, one giant leap for NASCAR-kind." OK, maybe I stole that quote from Neil Armstrong, but the suits down in Daytona Beach have been begging for a shred of positive news heading into their Super Bowl. On Tuesday, they finally got it from an unlikely source: the Nielsen ratings, which showed a slight increase from 4.4 to 4.5 for the Bud Shootout, while Daytona 500 qualifying from Sunday was up 19 percent.
The Obama administration's vision for the future of manned space flight will bump the United States to "second or even third-rate" status as a space-faring nation, the commanders of three U.S. moon missions warned Wednesday.
Editor's note: Buzz Aldrin, whose new book is "Magnificent Desolation," was one of the two American astronauts who were the first people to set foot on the moon. Aldrin says a mission to colonize Mars would restore a sense of adventure and excitement to space travel.
Blasting off from Earth and hurtling through space at thousands of miles an hour, it takes astronauts three days to reach the moon -- a tiny distance in a universe measured in light years, but a fantastic voyage on a human scale.
It was 40 years ago that Buzz Aldrin became the second man to walk on the moon. The footage of Aldrin and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong from the moon captured the imagination of millions inspired a generation.
When Neil Armstrong took one small step onto the moon in 1969, it seemed only a matter of time before the advent of thriving space colonies and summer vacations on distant planets. But after an initial flurry of moon landings, manned lunar expeditions dwindled: the last time an astronaut left his footprints on the moon was in 1972.
In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These four men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune.