Story-propelled space flight to the moon

Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon, July 1969


In honor of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, I bring you a TED talk that credits the telling of stories with launching (ahem) the long-term project of space exploration.

In his talk at TEDxAukland, Alexander McDonald traces the interplay between science and story that began with Galileo and eventually led to the lunar landing, fifty years ago today. From a 1638 manuscript by the Bishop of Hereford positing a goose-powered contraption for human flight, through tales from Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne and others, it’s an interesting story about interesting stories, helping us to see how innovation is fueled in important ways by narrative imagination.



If you’d rather read than listen, the transcript is here.

Did you grow up reading stories about space? Do you remember the lunar landing from the summer of ’69?


[Images: NASA via Wikipedia,]