At precisely 3:17 Bangkok time, on the morning of July 21, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the floor of the moon. It was Monday in Thailand, half a day later than it was for American viewers. Roughly one million individuals within the southeast Asian nation watched as Armstrong climbed down the ladder onto the lunar floor, the federal government having organized for tv protection that drew guests from neighboring international locations that didn’t carry the published dwell.
Seventeen-year-old Luxana “Luxie” Nil-Ubol and 16-year-old Euthana “Euth” Mukdasanit have been among the many viewers. Oddly, they’ll’t recall the place they have been precisely, however almost certainly it was at school at their highschool, the Secondary Demonstration Faculty of Prasarnmit Faculty of Training in Bangkok. Luxie’s household didn’t have a tv in 1969, so she doesn’t suppose she was at dwelling. “It was a very long time in the past,” says Euth, smiling and shaking his head as he strains to recollect.
What they do bear in mind, vividly, is assembly, on separate events that very same yr, the primary particular person to step foot on the moon.
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Half a century later, the outdated schoolmates are sitting side-by-side at Euthana’s home in Bangkok speaking to me by Skype. They haven’t seen one another in 40 years. Nor had Luxana seen, till I despatched it to her, the letter she wrote in 1970 that’s included in James Hansen’s forthcoming e-book, Dear Neil Armstrong, a sampling of the a whole lot of 1000’s of letters Armstrong acquired after Apollo 11. I obtained the letter from the writer, tracked down Luxana with a Google search, and now the three of us are…