Mon
Jul 20 2009 2:30am

On July 20th, 1969...by Larry Niven

I remember that day very well.

My about-to-be-wife Marilyn and I were on our way to a Moonship-watching party at John and Bjo Trimble’s house. We were at a traffic light when they decided to send the LEM down. I remember a moment of panic: Am I sure about this? Nothing will ever be the same.

At the Trimbles, we watched. The LEM landed. Then nothing happened for hours, as the astronauts slept. And finally they emerged. And the world was supposed to be changed forever.

We went to the Moon, and returned, and stopped. There was no moment of disappointment. It just grew over the decades. We were promised the Moon.


Larry Niven is an American author of dozens of science fiction and fantasy novels. He is perhaps best known for Ringworld, which won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He also penned the classic essay on Superman, “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.”

This article is part of Moon Landing Day: ‹ previous | index | next ›
4 comments
Jeff Soules
1. DeepThought
Between extreme caution and budgetary restrictions... yeah. No wonder space has been turned into a code word for disappointment.
Scott Gammans
2. Scott Gammans
We got the Moon, Mr. Niven. The problem is, we didn't ask for something big enough.
Tom Anderson
3. twocsies
The moon has been a disappointment, but at least there have been astronauts staying months in space in the space station. Maybe in 100 years there can be a handful of people living on the moon...
Scott Gammans
4. marsroever
The moon, yes I was young and missed all the excitement and disappointment - so I've got my hopes up for a manned Mars landing in my lifetime. If you're going to wish, wish BIG.

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