October 23

First Man Blog

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So, the story of First Man tells a few stories:

  1. The story of the early American space program and how it raced against the Soviets to conquer space, math, and physics;
  2. Neil Armstrong’s devotion to his career, and why he was chosen to become the first man on the moon;
  3. The wives’ attempts at trying to keep everything sane (for their husbands, their children, and themselves) in the face of unceratinty, danger, and death.

All of these stories are set within the context of the Cold War.  We see this when it was announced that the Soviets beat the Americans to be the first humans to do a space walk.  We also see it in the JFK speech where he announced our goal of going to the moon by the end of the decade.  But there isn’t any hint of American triumphalism, like a scene that shows Armstrong planting the flag into the moon’s surface.  The movie tries to do its best to give us a realistic, human portrait of what it would be like to be stuck in a simulator or a Gemini or Apollo capsule.  The shaky camera effects make it seem as if we are there with the astronauts as the rockets take off, descend back to Earth, or spin uncontrollably (and might make us wanna hurl too).  You see Armstrong completely focused on his job to the detriment of his family.  The night before he leaves for the moon, it’s as if he doesn’t want to talk to his wife or sons about the elephant in the room – the fear that he might not come back.  He buries himself in work instead of facing the inevitable.  It’s almost as if he is incapable of dealing with the overwhelming emotional toll that comes with this dangerous NASA mission, but that as an astronaut, he’s cool as a cucumber.


Pick three of the following questions to answer about the movie:

  1. How did the death of Armstrong’s daughter, Karen, emotionally affect the Armstrong family, and Neil specifically?
  2. How did the wives, especially Janet Armstrong, try to keep their home lives stable while their husbands risked their lives? Provide specific examples.
  3. How did the filmmaker make the movie a realistic portrait of the space program?  Provide specific examples.
  4. Were you surprised at the anti-NASA protests in 1968 and 1969?  Why or why not?  Also, how did the protests reflect what was going on at home during that time period?
  5. Do you think it was worth the cost in lives and money to go to the moon?  Why or why not?


Minimum 300 words total for all three answers.  Due by November 12 in class. 

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Posted October 23, 2018 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

29 thoughts on “First Man Blog

  1. Aarani Balendran

    The death of Karen was obviously very difficult for all of the Armstrongs, but from what I saw in the movie I think it was most difficult for Niel. He and Karen spent a lot of time together and he was very protective of her. She was his top priority. He even turned a really good job opportunity to wait until she was feeling better. When she passed you could see some of his energy disappear from the way he talked. In his interview for the Gemini program, he was very monotoned and when Karen was brought up he showed no emotion but you could tell he was in pain. Her death also pushed him to start fresh which led to him leaving his old job, finding the job at NASA and eventually being the first man on the moon. Which explains one of the last scenes really well where he finally lets go of her bracelet and it shows that her death pushed him to succeed for her and when he did he was finally able to let her death not take over his life.

    I was not surprised by the Anti-NASA protests during this time. At the time there were already so many other protests with very similar messages to this one. In the song the protesting man was singing he was talking about how he can’t have a decent living salary because of the whites on the moon. The whole protest was about equal rights but also some people questioning if getting to the moon was really worth it. The government was already spending so much money in the military during the time period now the money was going towards space travel, which means not much was left for civilians, especially those of color.

    I don’t think it was worth it. In the movie, you could see how all the deaths affected Niel’s life. So many more must have happened in real life. The money going toward funding this could have been used for those in poverty and helped much of our nation. With our space travel, we didn’t know what we would find. For all, we knew it could be exactly as scientists had figured out back on the planet. At the time I don’t think it was the best use of our money. Maybe now would’ve been more suitable, but the US was so invested in our competition with Russia, that we did everything we could to get ourselves on the moon first.

  2. Roni Blank

    1. Neil Armstrong’s daughter, Karen, was born on April 13, 1959. One day, Karen suddenly fell, had a bloody nose and had trouble controlling her eyes. Tests showed Karen was suffering from a tumor in her brain. She died on Jan 28, 1962, at the age of 2. The death of Neil Armstrong’s daughter served as an emotional obstacle for Neil, a recurring theme in the film that exposed Neil’s humanity. For example, after Karen’s death, Neil had a vision of her playing at a party, and at one point found her bracelet. At the end of the movie, while on the moon, Armstrong left Karen’s bracelet on the moon (which probably never truly occurred). Neil never talked about his daughter with anyone. He didn’t even talk much about it with his wife, Janet. After Karen died, Neil just worked harder but you could see it mentally impacted him. Neil loved his daughter so much, and never really got over it. When asked if his daughter’s death would have an effect on his space career, he answered: “well, I think it would be unreasonable to assume that it would have no effect.” He agreed that something such as that must have an effect. It probably played a role in his decision to become an astronaut.
    2. Janet faced a lot of challenges: raising two children, dealing with the memories of a dead daughter, and dealing with the fact that the man that she loved could die at any moment. Also, it’s hard to see your best friend’s husband and very close friends die. One of the toughest times in Janet and Neil’s relationship came when Neil was preparing for the Apollo 11 mission. Neil hadn’t spoken to his children, Rick and Mark, about the reality of the situation (that he might not return) and Janet, basically, made him talk to them.
    5. On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy presented his famous challenge for the nation to “commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.” Achieving that task took a great investment of money, national resources, and lives of people. When asked why the moon, Kennedy said, “no single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind.” This shows that sending people to the moon was just an act of ego and racing the Soviets to prove the US is the best. Even though nothing can replace humans, it might not be wise to risk human lives for show when we can use unmanned aircrafts to achieve the same thing.

  3. Halle misra

    1. The death of Armstrong’s daughter, Karen, emotionally affect the Armstrong family, and Neil specifically. The family was very sad after her death. Before her death, Neil was offered a good job opportunity, but turned it down to be with her. It shows how connected he was with her. When he passed out on the machine Neil wanted to go again. He had visions of his daughter when something was hard to make him keep pushing. It made him emotionally unstable because he never truly let go of her death. He imagined her everywhere. He also didn’t play with his sons very much and when he did he seemed off in his own world. He said, “I think it would be unreasonable if it didn’t have an effect on me” once in an interview and it really did affect him. The whole family truly never let the death of her go and since then, were always quite sad when anything that had to do with family came up. I think it was especially hard when other astronauts died because it brought back memories of their daughter.
    2. The wives try to act normal and hang out with their neighbors when the husbands were away. They talk to their neighbors and welcome new people to the neighborhood. They had neighborhood dinners. They tried to keep it as normal for their kids as possible. Once when some of the neighborhood wives husbands were away they all swam in the pool and hung out with each other and tried to calm the other wives down about their husbands risking their lives. Janet Armstrong failed to try and keep things peaceful and normal when the radio went off and she went off on the men and said they act like they have things under control when they really don’t. She shows how truly worried she was. She made Neil talk to the boys to tell them he might not come back. This shows how she tried to keep things normal and wanted their sons to be okay if he never came back.
    3. To make the film more realistic they shock the camera in the opening scene. They were in a rocket and it made you feel as though you were there. You could also see the sweat through his helmet. The space program had fake spaceships simulator like the Liner landing research vehicle just like how they have to practice before they go into space. When the men would talk to the people in the rocket, the rooms where they talk to the men in space were very realistic. They had all the desks and offices how they would be if someone was in space. They showed how they talked to the astronauts and showed many tools they used to send someone to space.

  4. Ethan Lulkin

    3. I think the filmmaker made the made the movie a realistic portrait of the space program because of his camera work, giving us a good feel of how the astronauts were feeling, and scenes such as the training ones. The camera work was often shaky giving the video a realistic feel. With this use of shaky camera work, it made it feel were on the spaceship with the astronauts. Also, the camera would be very zoomed in at times. This was used to show specific parts of the surroundings that the astronaut saw. Also, it brought your concentration just on the astronaut in his dangerous position. The camera would also at times be from the astronaut’s point of view. This allowed us to feel how the astronauts did. If the lights were flashing and beeping, we could feel it too, if the switch Neil needed to press before he blacked out soon was just out of reach, we could feel his urgency and fear. Finally, the training scenes gave us a good look at the space program before they go on the spaceship. In the first training scene, the astronauts go in the Multi-Axis Trainer. We see Neil get twirled around, and eventually all the astronauts throw up. Another training scene is where Neil is practicing landing the Lunar Landing System, and he has to eject before it explodes. He was a few seconds away from death. Along with these tough physical exercises, the astronauts had hours of class where the learned very important science and procedures before they could launch.
    4. I was not surprised by the anti-NASA protests in 1968 and 1969 because many people in the space programs died and the government was spending so much money for no results. People were getting frustrated that all the money that could be put to something better was being spent on dying astronauts. If the money kept being spent, Americans wanted to see progress and proof that they weren’t losing to the Soviets. I think the protests also represented that the work and money to go to the Moon should also be spent on the Civil Rights Movement.
    5. I think it was worth the cost of money and lives to go to the Moon. I believe this because America needed a win against the Soviets, who were beating America in everything related space. Also, the astronauts knew that they could lose lives in the process, and helped the space program become more advanced. Finally, getting to the Moon advanced the world’s science and understanding that we have today.

  5. Monica Inda

    1. The death of Karen greatly affected the Armstrong family, Neil in particular. Before Karen passed, Neil was offered a new job, which he turned down to care for his daughter. Although after Karen’s death all of the Armstrong’s were mourning, Neil took it the hardest. He seemed to have been the closest to her and her death really set the course for the rest of his life. After her passing, Neil set off on a new path to become an astronaut, trying very hard to shut his emotions out of his work and everyday life. Furthermore, Neil never talked about Karen to anyone because it caused him to remember painful memories. Although he was mostly successful in suppressing his emotions, he often had flashbacks from when she was alive throughout the movie. It seemed as if the rest of the family was almost able to move past her death while Neil never was.
    2. The wives of the astronauts were placed with the burden of holding down the fort for their kids while their husbands were out in space. They all carried huge amounts of emotional baggage as they were always scared of their husband’s safety and whether they were going to come home alive. In Janet’s case, Neil was very closed off and did not open up to her emotionally so she also carried that extra weight. Despite trying to put a brave front in front of others, Janet does lash out against ground-bound guides at NASA saying, “You’re a bunch of boys making models out of balsa wood. You don’t have anything under control.” This helplessness was how many of the astronauts’ wives felt at the time.
    3. The filmmakers were able to able to make the movie a realistic portrait of the space program because of the use of tension and the shakiness of the camera during vital scenes. Throughout the movie, there are many pauses and then loud noises, especially in the training room. This loud then silent method was extremely effective in creating tension and making the audience feel as the astronauts would have felt themselves. Moreover, in the opening scene as well as other parts where Neil is in a space shuttle or testing the camera was very unstable. This made it seem as if the audience was there with the astronauts as the rockets took off, came back through the atmosphere, or spiraled through space.

  6. Lily Abraam

    How did the death of Armstrong’s daughter, Karen, emotionally affect the Armstrong family, and Neil specifically? The death of Armstrong’s daughter, Karen, affected the family not just after she died, but also before. Before Karen died she was very sick and required lots of help and full attention from her parents. This affected the whole family because it slowed them down from many opportunities. For example before Karen passed away Neil was offered an amazing job opportunity to spend more time with her. Her death affected him the most because he spent most of his time being with her to make sure she was doing good. It affected the whole family because the death of a young child can destroy people. The whole family was changed because the parents needed to mourn, and couldn’t always be with the other kids.
    How did the wives, especially Janet Armstrong, try to keep their home lives stable while their husbands risked their lives? Provide specific examples. The wives with husbands in NASA, especially Janet Armstrong tried to keep their home lives as stable as possible because she wanted to try and keep their lives how they would be as if Neil was home. For example, Janet always hung out with her friends including her neighbors to try and take her mind off of what Neil was doing. Also, when Neil was getting ready to leave Janet made him have a talk with the kids about how he might not be coming back. Janet had to do this to make sure the kids were not left clueless if their dad never showed back at home.
    Do you think it was worth the cost in lives and money to go to the moon? Why or why not? I think that it was not good for Neil to go to the moon. If another person was given the opportunity than I think that would have been better. Neil had many people around him die and he went through a lot of hard things. Since this was such a life threatening thing I believe he should have stayed home. His wife became so worried while he was gone. If Neil would have died than Janet Armstrong would have had 2 close family members die. This would have put even more hurt onto Janet. The amount of money spent getting to the moon was also very high, with the additions of spacecraft and tests the number kept getting higher. The amount of money could have been less if we didn’t rush through getting to the moon.

  7. Christopher Thorsen

    The death of Karen negatively affected the Armstrong family, in that it was very traumatic for them to lose a child so young. Also, it was a major traumatic distraction from their day-to-day lives which then cause them to move. It also had a major impact on Neil’s life as when he was flying he suddenly lost focus when thinking about the loss of his daughter.
    I am not surprised at all by the protests against the space program as it could easily be viewed as a colossal waste of resources as each rocket launch yielded no income. Also, all the employees working in the space program have to be paid. Additionally, the whole program can be viewed as useless or at the very least, very inefficient. I say this because the seemingly only point of putting a man on the moon was either for bragging rights or science, but other than that we got nothing out of it. The protests reflect what was going on in America at the time period because this was mid-vietnam and cold war. Because of this people may have especially thought if more money was spent to help the fight in Vietnam, the war would be over sooner.
    I personally believe that the space program was not worth the monetary cost and the cost in lives. I believe it wasted a lot of money trying to get on the moon. Furthermore, I believe that we should’ve been more careful in our approach, rather than how we actually were in our attempts to beat the Russians to the moon. This race was pointless and purely a silly way to show strength. However, I believe that the satellites and such are not a waste of money as they can help to gather vital intel on our planet, for scientific and espionage purposes.

  8. Kate Potocsky

    1)Karen was Neil Armstrong’s beloved daughter that died of a brain tumor at age two. Neil and his family were deeply affected by this loss. The family was not complete without Karen. After her passing, Neil was left with his wife and two sons. He loved his family still, but grew increasingly more distant as he mourned. The rest of the family was sad too, but Karen’s death seemed to have affected Neil the most. He shared a special bond with his daughter. While she was sick, he was offered an incredible job opportunity, but turned it down to spend more time with her. He had always put her before his career. In the movie, Karen’s beaded bracelet was very symbolic. After her funeral, there was as scene showing Neil taking her bracelet, and locking it in a drawer. At the end of the movie, when he was on the moon, Neil threw the bracelet into a crater. I think this symbolic gesture showed that Karen was his motivation. He used the bracelet to, in a sense, share his great accomplishment with her. He never got over her death. He dedicated his major achievements to her.

    4) I was surprised by the anti-NASA protests in 1968 and 1969. I don’t know why, but I never connected the things we learned about in class to each other. The racism that was still prevalent in the 60s occured at the same time at the space race during the Cold War. This movie made something click in my brain. I didn’t realize how so many black communities were impoverished, but America was occupied with spending billions of dollars to improve the space program. It doesn’t seem fair that the government would spend valuable dollars in space before even thinking about helping the people in our very own country. One specific point in the movie that really made me think was during one of the anti-NASA protests. There was a black man leading a protest saying a poetic speech. He said “I can’t pay no doctor bills, but there’s a white on the moon.” He went on talking about how he had no hot water, no toilets, and no food, and tied it back to “but there’s a white on the moon.” This reflects the discrimination and racism of the 60s. Right around this time, the Civil Rights Movement had peaked. Changes were just starting to be made. This era was significant for not only the space program, but for African Americans as well.

    5) I do think it was worth the cost in lives and money to go to the moon. Going to the moon opened up a new window to discovery and innovation for the world. As Neil had once said, going to the moon was “one small step for a man, but one giant leap for mankind.” It’s very unfortunate that so many lives had to be lost to achieve going to the moon, but it was inevitable. People like Edward White, Gus Grissom, and Roger Chaffee are true heroes. They were the people who made going to space possible. These three men died in a fire during an Apollo test module. These men, and many others, knew the risks of their ventures, but decided pursue them anyway, in the name of science. The cost in money was also very controversial at the time. When Neil was at the white house representing NASA, a man mentioned that taxpayers paying for NASA wasn’t worth it anymore due to all their failures. In response, Neil said that we need to fail down here, so we don’t fail up there. He was then questioned with “at what cost?” Although it was incredibly expensive, the money again was worth spending due to new discovery and innovation. In the 60s, space was still a wonder to the world. It had barely been explored. The money spent allowed us to learn more about space, beat the Soviets, and improve our space program.

  9. Annika Paluda

    1) Neil Armstrong’s daughter, Karen, died in the beginning of the movie. As any parent who just lost a child would be, Neil was devastated by her death. It was a tough adjustment to make for everyone in the Armstrong family. At Karen’s funeral, we see a bracelet that says “Karen” on it that Neil kept to remember her by. Even though he should take time off to recover from the tragedy, he goes right back to work. I think he does this because he wants to take his mind off of her. Neil’s desire to go back to work so fast leaves his wife alone to heal. This puts a strain on their marriage, but Janet does not speak about it until later in the movie when Neil is stressed about work. Neil tries to put on the impression that he is not affected by Karen’s death, although, as an audience, we can tell that he was internally struggling. When Neil goes to the moon, he drops the bracelet that he had kept from Karen’s funeral into a crater. This shows us that his daughter influenced him emotionally throughout the mission, and that he never forgot her despite his efforts to make it seem like he did.
    4) Personally, I was not surprised at the anti-NASA protests in 1968 and 1969. For a long time now, the United States has been recognized for its peaceful protests and freedom of speech, and I wouldn’t expect this point in history to be any exception. NASA’s ambition to go to the moon was opposed and criticized by many Americans for many reasons. At the time, America was in the midst of the Cold War; many people thought that the United States should be focusing on fighting the communist forces. More specifically, the United States was fighting the everlasting war in Vietnam. Americans were getting tired of losing money and lives to a country that we were thought to be much stronger than. Aside from the war, America was still facing other social and economic issues such as civil rights discrimination, gender inequality, and the poor were trying to gain more federal assistance. The protests reflected the harsh social climate at home; they showed that some American people were truly unhappy with the government’s choices at the time.
    5) Even though many would argue otherwise, I believe that it was worth the cost in lives and money to go to the moon. Our initial intention for the mission was to show off our technological and scientific abilities to the Soviet Union, but I think it did much more than that. Despite every tension from the war, every social injustice, and every economic issue, the success of the mission united the country as a whole. The sense of pride that Americans felt was shared among everyone, no matter what race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or economic status. In a time when America needed it most, the country was brought together, even if it was just for a brief couple of days. Not only was the United States brought together, but the entire world was. It wasn’t just a great accomplishment for Americans, it was a great accomplishment for the human race. Even the Soviet Union, who was threatened by the mission’s success, felt the joy. It is unfortunate how many lives were lost during the process, but I think every person who died would have been happy with the impact that the mission made on the United States. And even though countless amounts of money were spent along the way, the unification made it all worth it.

  10. Sophi Whitman

    1. The death of Neil’s daughter Karen had a tremendous effect on the family. It brought them closer together yet it also emotionally separated Neil. He was very close with his daughter and was extremely protective of her when she was alive. He turned down a new job in order to stay with his daughter and care for her. After her passing, Neil never played with his sons and seemed very distant from the family. The event forced Neil to push his feeling inside. He never talked about Karen’s death or his emotions with anybody, not even his wife. When the topic is brought up, he shuts down and gets very upset thinking about the sad memories. Although the death of his daughter very negatively impacted the Armstrong’s, it also pushed Neil harder. After her death, Neil got a new job and the family moved. This was a nice, fresh start and allowed Neil to break many NASA barriers. It motivated Neil to work very hard and eventually become the first man on the moon. In one of the last scenes, we see Neil let go of Karen’s bracelet on the moon. This not only symbolizes the accomplishments Neil had experienced thanks to Karen’s death but, Neil finally letting her go. He realizes that the death is taking over his life and he needs to appreciate his life on Earth with the family that is still alive. The letting go of the bracelet represents the letting go of Karen.

    3. The filmmaker did an excellent job of portraying the correct image of what the space program would truly feel like. They did this with shaky camera work during scenes in a rocket ship. During takeoff, it felt as though you were truly in the ship with the astronauts. The sweating of astronauts and nervous emotions gave the audience the appropriate ideas of the space program. The filming was very close to Neil as we could hear him breathing which built up tension and suspense during the intense scenes. The camera was always moving which portrayed the effect that it was from a person’s point of view. There were also things shown from Neil’s eyes and made the audience aware of how extremely dangerous it was and still is being an astronaut. There were also sounds that affected people’s reactions. Silent periods, then loud noises were placed in stressful scenes.

    5. I believe it was worth the amount of money and lives lost to go to the moon. At the time, we were competing in the space race against the Soviet Union. When news broke that the Soviets launched the first satellite into space, Americans immediately felt that they were falling behind their enemies in regard of technology. Everybody felt a sense of competitiveness and wanted to beat the Soviets to the moon. Being the first country on the moon lead to an increase in American pride and a decrease in worrying about the danger of the Soviet’s technology. The mission to the moon accounted for a lot of time, money, and deaths. However, many new discoveries require sacrifice in order to succeed. Sadly, breakthroughs in space demand the loss of lives. Without death, new innovations wouldn’t have been made to allow us to be the first country in space. So, I believe it was worth the sacrifice in order to let America reach their space goals.

  11. Joshua Wallington

    How did the death of Armstrong’s daughter, Karen, emotionally affect the Armstrong family, and Neil specifically?

    The death of Karen negatively affected the Armstrong family especially Neil Armstrong. Before Karen died, she was diagnosed with cancer and Neil was heavily invested in her medical treatments and her life. Neil even cared about her so much that he turned down a new exciting job so they wouldn’t have to move her to a new home. He spent a lot of time with her during her life, so after her death, he was understandably upset. Neil never really wanted to talk to anyone about Karen’s death. It affected him so much that sometimes he had flashbacks or visions of her.

    How did the wives, especially Janet Armstrong, try to keep their home lives stable while their husbands risked their lives? Provide specific examples.

    The wives had a difficult task, they had to care for their children while the fathers were up in space or at NASA. Janet was moving into a new place and didn’t know what to expect from the new community. Janet tried to make their home life stable by doing different things within the community. Once the Armstrongs moved in, Janet made friends with Pat and got their kids together. They had pool parties, dinners, and some other events to make the kids feel at home and loved. Another example of Janet trying to keep the home life stable is when she forced Neil to talk to the boys about the upcoming mission. She wanted to make sure that Neil told the boys the possible repercussions of the mission. Even though it was hard for her to hear she wanted her boys to understand and for them to know the truth

    I think Damien Chazelle did a good job making the film a realistic portrait of the space program. The camera movements during the film made it feel like Neil Armstrong and the other astronauts were going into orbit at that very moment. We could experience the pandemonium and tension inside the space shuttle. We could also experience the fear and anxiety Neil felt while he was in intense situations. Another example of a good portrayal of the space program was the training the astronauts had to go through. Neil had to train with the Lunar training vehicle during the movie. Astronauts in the program have to train with different vehicles and instruments to get familiar with them and the effects of outer space. Astronauts in the program also have to attend classes so they can learn new procedures and formulas.

  12. Dominick Stoops

    1. Karen Armstrong’s death greatly impacted the Armstrong family. Firstly in the beginning of the movie we see Neil with his daughter, he loved Karen so much and she died without being able to live her life which took a toll on Neil and his family. When Karen died Neil isolated himself from his family and dived into his work, for example the day after her funeral he went to work, this was the beginning of Neil’s suffering throughout the movie. Neil also started isolating himself from his family, and only coming in and out of the house in a rush just to leave again. I feel like he did this because he did not want to reopen the wounds of Karen’s death, he started pushing away Janet leaving her to go look after the kids most of the time. In the end of the movie when Neil landed on the moon he threw the bracelet that Karen wore into a crater in the moon. This was a turning point for Neil, it was a symbol of him finally letting go of the pain.

    4. I was not surprised with the anti-nasa protests at all. During this time period civil rights were becoming a major topic in politics and all together in the U.S. So when the “Whitey on the Moon” protest was shown I was not surprised. The American people were paying for people to go to the moon, and at this point so many of them have died, it seemed like it was an impossible task. The protests reflected a greater picture of America during that time period, the Cold War was in full force during the late 1960’s and the space race was a keynote battle of the War. People could have been protesting because if the moon landing would have failed they would’ve lost the space race and possibly the Cold War. So of course this is why they protested, to stop people from dying for the space race.

    5. I do not think it was worth the cost in lives to get to the moon, money on the other hand, yes. Money is always going to be circulating in America, and during this time period there was some money to spare by the government. But the lives lost wasn’t worth it, around 14 people died, just to get to the moon. There deaths were honored in America because they died to fight for a Cold War, but it wasn’t worth it. America could always work to get the money back, but it can never bring back the lives of the people who died in the Apollo project.

  13. Gillian Waitzman

    1. The most heartbreaking thing a parent could ever go through in their life is losing a child of their own. It leaves an impact on you that you will feel every day for the rest of your life. The death of Karen was an emotional rollercoaster, that always went downhill, for the Armstrong family. Neil, being the brain and muscle of the family, took his daughter’s death the hardest. I believe that the reason Neil worked so hard to achieve his goals, was because of Karen. One specific scene stood out to me towards the end of the movie, when he finally reached and walked on the moon. This scene was clearly emphasized to the max and showed him throwing Karen’s bracelet onto the moon in slow motion. I think that the directors of the film wanted to show that Neil was a real human too. An ongoing theme was Neil’s true emotions being shown, that he was human. Neil didn’t have the strength to talk about his daughters with anyone, not even his wife, Janet. I think that the reason Neil always wanted to be alone and not express what he was feeling was because he didn’t want the world to know that he was weak. He was sad and tired of everything and everyone failing on him. When Neil worked the hardest he could and achieved his goal, he felt as if he accomplished something for him, but more so his daughter.
    2. The reason you marry someone is because you love them and want to spend the rest of your life with them. This was not the case for Janet Armstrong. One of my favorite scenes in the movie was watching Neil and Janet dance to her favorite song. You could tell by their smiles that they were in love with each other and that they were dancing like no one was watching. Coming into the marriage, Janet knew what Neil wanted to do with his life. Neil wanted to achieve the impossible. This meant that Janet would have to live most days without her loved one. Having children was a good idea, especially to keep her busy. But the death of a mother’s little girl is always hard. Janet knew that whenever Neil closed the front door of their house that there was a chance that, that was the last time she would hear and see him. The wives would make close friends with each other, especially around the neighborhood to distract themselves from the thought of losing their husbands. The neighbors would have parties and dinners together, which not only distracted the wives, but the kids would make friends too. Janet also struggled with the fact that Neil didn’t open up much about what he was feeling, even to his wife. Janet tried to display a brave face to the public, but eventually lashed out at NASA, basically saying that they are a bunch of boys that don’t know what they’re doing. Janet wasn’t the only one who had to undergo the empty feeling of no one by their side at home, but many of her friends (who also were the wives of astronauts) felt the same way.
    5. I believe that it was worth the cost in lives and money to go to the moon. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy committed the nation to the ambitious goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Although landing a man on the moon didn’t seem like the most important thing to be focusing on during that time period, it was much more than that. JFK wanted to make American history, he wanted the American people to feel accomplished. It didn’t matter your race, origin, or sex, everyone proudly celebrated and felt as if they had just won the world. It’s sad to say that so many lives were lost, but there is bound to be some mistakes when achieving the impossible. There were many protests because of the lives, money, and time that were “wasted” and that could have been used for a greater cause. But in the end, as said by Neil Armstrong “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

  14. Sarah Johns

    1. The death of Neil’s daughter Karen affected the Armstrong’s life a lot. After her death Neil seemed really distant from his family and plunged himself into his work. Though he had fun moments later in the movie with his sons, he never seemed close to them. He was very close to his daughter and even turned down a good job to take care of her when she was sick. After, he left his job and moved so he could get away from the old memories. In the last scene of the movie Neil lets her bracelet go into space. This shows that he didn’t want her death to hold him back, he wanted it to push him.
    2. The wives of the astronauts tried to keep life as normal as possible for them and their kids. While their husbands were at work, they would often hangout and sometimes have neighborhood parties. They would often lounge around the pool while their kids played together. Janet Armstrong did often have trouble making their life normal however. She had to stay calm so that she wouldn’t scare her kids. Once she lost control when she was cut off of the communication between Neil and the control center. She also made Neil prepare their kids for never seeing him again though he didn’t want to face the fact that it was possible. The wives of the astronauts had a very tough job while their husbands were risking their lives.
    5. I don’t think that it was worth the cost of lives and money just to beat the USSR to the moon. The deaths effect so many people and you can see in the movie alone how much it affected Neil I can’t even begin to imagine how it affected their families. The money also could have been used to help us win the other wars we were in or pay back some of the det we had. I don’t think the government stepped back and realized that our competitiveness with Russia was coming at the cost of lives that shouldn’t have been in danger in the first place.

  15. Veronica Szuma

    3. The filmmaker portrayed a realistic image of the space program through showing its faults, strains on the astronauts, and the amount of hope resting in the program. The movie showed the trials and tribulations the program had to go through before coming to the best model to send to the moon. They failed multiple times, once even killing three astronauts that were meant to go on the final mission when an explosion started in the cockpit of a test-rocket. The astronauts went through rigorous physical and mental training in order to be prepared for the final Apollo mission. An example of this is the simulation they had to go through that tested how long they could spin before passing out, to see if they would be able to regain control. Every single astronaut trainee got sick from it. All of NASA, as well as U.S. politicians, depended on the trip to the moon to succeed. This was evident in the way that Neil went to the White House to ease politicians’ worries about the success of the program.

    4. I was not surprised by the anti-NASA protests in 1968 and 1969. This is because the Vietnam War was going on at the same time, and there were protests against that, as well. The space race was a part of the Cold War, and during a very anti-war time in American history, I can understand why people would protest NASA for fueling the space race. Also, the program was taking lots of money, which the American people were paying. After not seeing an outcome from a program that had been working on a project for years, they could be sick of paying for something without results.

    5. It was worth the cost in money and lives in order to go to the moon. The astronauts who signed up for the task knew that there was a chance of death, and willingly agreed to the tasks they were given. Not to say that death isn’t tragic, but the astronauts and their families had to be able to prepare for the worst and realize that their efforts were benefiting America in the space race. Without the money provided for NASA’s efforts, the trip to the moon would not have been possible. The Soviet Union was consistently beating America in the space race, which instilled fear upon the American people about whether or not they would send missiles over. Once we landed on the moon, there was reassurance for American people in America’s abilities, and it showed the Soviet Union that America was ready to beat them in whatever they brought to the table.

  16. Sydney Green

    5. I think personally for Neil, he shouldn’t have taken the job of going to the moon. He experienced many things that are hard to forget in a lifetime. He saw the deaths of many of his close friends and he went through a lot during this time as well. I think Neil and the Armstrong family would’ve been better off if he stayed home. Going to the Moon could have costed him his life and Janet to lose two close family members. But on behalf of America at the time, they definitely needed to win the space race. Especially since the Soviets were beating America in everything space related.
    The death of the Armstrong’s daughter Karen affected Janet, but greatly affected Neil. Right before Karen passed, Neil received an offer for a new job, he turned this down in order to care for Karen. Once Karen passed, Neil almost seemed like a new person, he was very close with Karen so when she passed he mourned a lot. Neil then picked up a new profession of a astronaut. He tried to block out his sadness from his work and personal life. Neil never really talked about Karen’s death to anyone, not even to Janet whenever he did it brought up memories that he didn’t want to face again. He always did a good job of hiding his emotions, despite this, he had many flashbacks to times when Karen was alive in the movie.
    The wives in First Man, especially Janet Armstrong tried her best to keep their home lives as stable as possible because she did things to keep her happy. With the Armstrong’s moving into the community, Janet had to adjust and meet new people. Janet made new friends, she met her neighbor named Pat that lived across the street and they quickly started hanging out and letting their kids play together. They had dinners together, enjoyed time beside the pool and other fun activities to feel happy and loved. Another time where Janet kept her home life stable was when she made Neil sit down with the boys and tell them that he may never come home. This was very hard for Janet but she knew it had to be done.

  17. Hannah

    1. The death of Niels daughter Karen greatly affected Niel and his family. At the beginning of the movie, you can he and Karen have a very strong relationship and he cares about her a lot. She is is first priority. He even turns down a really good job because he wants to wait until she gets better. When she dies, Niel takes it very hardly. He is devastated, but he tries to control his emotions and tries not to react to the situation. He doesn’t really know what to do, and tries to not let his emotions get in the way of his daily life. He goes back to work right after and all of his coworkers are surprised he came back so soon. In his interview for his job at NASA, they ask him if the death of Karen will effect his job, and he says very flatly why would it not? Throughout his journey with NASA he continually thinks about Karen and when he finally makes it to the moon, he drops her bracelet into the crater, to represent that she motivated him to accomplish all these goals, and kind of finally letting go of the sorrow of her death.

    3. Janet had a lot more responsibility than most mothers. Her first daughter died, and she had to raise 2 other children. Her husband was not home all the time and she had to deal with the fact that he might not come home one day. She also had to prepare her children for the fact that he might not come home one day, and that was very hard for her, so she made Niel do it. Whenever he was on a mission, she would sit by the radio and listen so she knew exactly what was happening to her husband, and when they stopped broadcasting, she went down to the space station and asked them for updates. At one point in the movie, she says this is not what I signed up for marrying an astronaut.

    3. I have mixed feelings on weather of not it was worth everything to go to the moon. When the astronauts signed up, they knew they were risking their lives. And during the Space race, Americans were worried about the Soviet’s launching missles into the U.S, so when we won, it gave Americans relief that we were doing something better. However, was proving that we were better than the Soviet Union worth all of the money and lives?

  18. Evan Willey

    The death of Karen affected the Armstrong family greatly, and Neil the most. Neil seemed to have the strongest connection with the young girl in the beginning of the movie. He even turned down a job because he needed to care for the sick Karen. After the death of Karen Neil often grieved about his daughter. Many people outside of the family didn’t know about his feelings about his daughters death because he concealed these feelings. One of the only people who knew the true impact the death had on him was his wife, Janet. The way Neil dealt with the grief he was feeling was throwing himself into his work. After Karen’s death he went for one of the Apollo jobs and became dedicated to the mission. Neil owned a portrait of Karen depicting her just before she died, he treasured the Portrait more than anything else. To commemorate his daughter Neil even brought up her bracelet to the moon and left it there. One way it had a continuous impact on the family is Karen’s death day. She died January 28th, this happened to be Neil and Janet’s wedding date. They never celebrated their anniversary after Karen’s death. It was a wound never healed for the Armstrong family.

    Wives had to go through a lot when their husbands were astronauts. They had to maintain composure on a national stage, when their husbands were on mission tv crews and reporters would crowd the front lawns to find out the family’s reactions to events involving the astronauts. The wives were effectively single parents for the families when their husbands were on missions. They had to manage the kids, house, and their composure when their husbands were risking their lives. Neil was very reserved after the death of Karen. Janet had to force him to explain to the boys what the risks were before he left for Apollo 11. The wives helped each other through the pressure also. On days when missions were taking place the wives would all go to one house for a potluck meal and to support one another. Houses always had doors open on mission days and the whole neighborhood would come together.

    I do not think it was worth the cost in lives and money to go to the Moon. It was terrible that so many men had to give up their lives Becca’s of our race with the Soviets. I don’t think going to the Moon was a bad idea but I think we rushed the process because we wanted to beat them. Also, the money spent in that short of a period for the space program was not helpful. This came in a time where of budget deficit was growing exponentially and spending all this money to get to the Moon was unnecessary. The space race was based on the fact that we thought one of the countries would militarize space but the Soviets never did that so I feel the trip to the moon was too urgent.

  19. mostafa ghanem

    The death of Neil Armstrong’s daughter Karen had a huge effect on the Armstrong family. The death had the most effect on Neil. He had taken off from work to spend time with his sick daughter. For years after her death, he would still think about her. He tried his best not to talk about Karen. He had never gotten over the death of Karen and had dealt with the pain of her death for years. He had held onto her bracelet and it had motivated him to go farther. When interviewed for the job at NASA he was asked will the death of his daughter have an effect on him. He answered back that he would be lying if he said that it would not affect him.

    4. I am not surprised that there was an anti-NASA protest in the late in the 1960s. People in the 1960s were starting to lose trust in the government at this time. They were in the middle of fighting Vietnam a war in which they did not want to be in. People felt like there tax money was being wasted in to NASA which was losing the space war. The soviets were beating the U.S. in almost everything before the moon landing. The Soviets were first to send a man into space and the first to orbit the earth. The protest represented the movement for change in the 1960s. People started to speak out against the government. It was a time where people thought that the government was lying to them. They had began to question the actions that the government was doing.
    5. I do not think that it was worth the cost of lives and money to go to the moon. The mission to the moon helped increase American pride at a time where it was much needed. Still, the cost took a lot from American taxpayer money that could go to fighting poverty, schools, and the Vietnam war. We also had lost a lot of astronauts in the process. Losing lives is never worth it especially with something that just has to do with pride. We had lost them over dumb mistakes like wiring issues.

  20. Asia White

    Karen was born on April 13, 1959. One day, Karen suddenly fell, had a bloody nose couldnt controll her eyes. Tests showed Karen was suffering from a tumor in her brain. She died on Jan 28, 1962, at the age of 2. Armstrong became very distant to his wife and his friends as well he didn’t ever want to talk about it but when he did he would get worked up about it. The wife, Janet, also didn’t take the death well she looked very lost throughout the beginning of the movie, not showing much emotion as if she didn’t know how to express herself. Which is understandable because she lost her daughter, and many people don’t know how to express their emotions when they lose someone. She suppressed her emotions and when they moved into their new neighborhood she hid the fact that she had lost her daughter, her neighbor asked: “is that your first?”Mrs. Armstrong responds with “no, I have a little boy” excluding the fact that she had lost her daughter or the fact that she ever had one. Armstrong held onto the bracelet that his daughter had, until the end of the movie when he reached a crater on the moon and took out the bracelet and let it fall as a symbol of him finally saying goodbye to Karen.
    Janet faced a lot of challenges raising two children, dealing with the memories of her dead daughter, and dealing with the fact that the man that she loved could die at any moment. Also, it’s hard to see your best friend’s husband and very close friends die. One of the toughest times in Janet and Neil’s relationship came when Neil was preparing for the Apollo 11 mission. Neil hadn’t spoken to his children, Rick and Mark, about the reality of the situation (that he might not return) and Janet, basically, made him talk to them.
    The filmmakers enhanced the experience for the viewer by making the camera shaky, you could sense the tensions within the scenes. Throughout the movie, there are many pauses and then loud noises, mainly in the training room. The loud then silent method was extremely effective in creating tension and making the audience feel as the astronauts would have felt themselves. In the scene where Armstrong and others had to go in the g-force simulator, the camera flipped and turned upside down making the viewer seem as if they were in the machine as well. You could tell how dangerous the motion was by how the filmmakers zoomed in on the actors’ eyes showing the emotion they were going through.

  21. Liam O'Gorman

    3. The filmmaker realistically portrayed the space program by showing all of the hardships that the program faced, while also showing the successes. One of the downfalls of the program that is extremely realistic in the film was the horrifying events of Apollo 1. Watching the cockpit be lit on fire while they struggle to escape is a scary moment that shows how wrong some of the tests that the space program was doing could go. At the end of the movie however, it shows them reaching their end goal in a really uplifting scene with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon and the program reaching its end goal.
    4. I wasn’t too surprised at the backlash at the space program because there was a lot of lives and resources put into it but not many results. If results weren’t produced then the hate towards NASA would grow because people knew that money could be spent elsewhere and be put to a better use. The protests reflected the change that was occurring across the nation during that time with civil rights and anti war movements in regards to Vietnam.
    5. I believe that the time, effort and resources put into getting to the moon was an important part in American history, but not necessary. We didn’t benefit much from getting to the moon other than getting bragging rights over the Soviet Union and saying that we could do it. It was a memorable moment in America’s history, but not vital to the world we live in today. I think that it wasn’t worth it to lose so many lives and put so many resources to a cause that wasn’t incredibly important to America’s success. I think that if we had focused on other problems with the resources that we used for NASA then we could’ve resolved the issues at the time quicker.

  22. Hayden Miller

    1. The death of Neil Armstrong’s daughter Karen caused the Armstrong family in their intense grieving and loss to become distant from each other. This may have been their way of hiding their own pain and trying not to see the pain of their own family.We see an example of this when, at Karen’s funeral Armstrong’s son asks if he will play outside with him and Armstrong tells him that he can’t because he has to help his mother,, but what Armstrong really does os go into his office, shut the door behind him and cry for a moment. In a moment of sadness and sorrow, instead of facing his family and bonding over loss,he secludes himself and tries to hide his pain. Another example of Karen’s death pushing the Armstrongs apart is when Neil and his wife are attending a funeral for one of the astronauts who died and Neil imagines seeing Karen playing with some other small children. The trauma of seeing his daughter again makes Neil flee the Funeral they are at and drive home, leaving his wife behind. This is clear evidence to the audience that Neil is visibly shaken and unready to face the passing of his daughter. The audience gets another glance at how Neil is emotionally affected when his wife must get a ride home from their neighbors and she asks them, “does Neil ever talk to you about Karen?” in which she is told no, that he has never talked about her passing with them. This is another point showing that Neil is still emotionally shaken and can’t talk about Karen’s death.

    4. I was not surprised when viewing the anti-NASA protests in the movie because I could easily understand and sympathize with the African American people of the time and their struggle for equality. I could see the points made during the protest, asking why NASA was spending millions of dollars to send white men into space while African American men struggled with poverty, inequality, and unemployment. One particular scene when depicting the protests that stuck with me was when a protest was taking place on a lakeshore near some woods depicting people of all ages, focusing especially on children swimming in the lake. This calm view was suddenly spoiled by a pan of the camera, showing NASA headquarters towering over the lake. I thought this was excellent symbolism for the time, showing NASA as the white man or the daunting themes of discrimination, towering over minorities, asking and advocating for change and help. The protests reflected what was going on in America during the late 60’s by showing the connection of the people finding a need to rally together and express their voices over their distrust of the Government, whether it was the Government spending money without questioning it’s people or supporting laws that were unequal and did not benefit all. Certain rallies showed people upset that the Government was spending whatever possible money to beat the Russians, not thinking to help its own citizens in need of assistance.

    5. Even though the loss of individual lives can never have a price tag put on them, I believe the trip to the moon was ultimately worth it. America was faced with the constant threat of the Soviet Union and all the repercussions that came with that, including attacks on US cities with nuclear weaponry and the possible breakout of another deadly war. It became crucial to America that, for the safety of citizens everywhere, America won the Space Race. If America could make it to the Moon we would also be, “flexing our muscles” showing that we were no weak country and could tough it out and hold our own; that we had the brain power to send a man to a new planet, that we had the leadership to keep a country united even during the tragedies of the various accidents, ultimately this kind of sacrifice makes Americans proud of their country and keeps us believing in the idea of a country that is committed and courageous and strong. The idea of this is important to our national identity and that America is a place that is determined, smart, courageous, and proud, and that the rest of the world sees us this way is fundamental to who we are as a country.

  23. Lily Koza

    5. In my opinion i do not believe it was worth the cost in lives and money to be the first to land on the moon. America’s position in the space race alongside the Soviets was always catch up. America was trying to keep their views as being the best and most technological but the Soviets began to test that ideal. The USSR was the first in many actions taken throughout the space race including the launch of the first artificial satellite called and Sputnik 1 in 1957 and the first dog to be sent in space also in 1957. Due to these advances for the Soviets the United States was frantic to regain their position as being the best. The United States spending $25 billion on the Apollo program and the Soviets spending around half as much i believe the United States spent way over the amount necessary. Regarding the lives lost throughout this program i believe they were disastrous. Due to small imperfections innocent lives were lost and families were left in disrepair. Overall i believe the Apollo mission to land on the moon was not worth the immense amount spent and the heroic lives lost throughout this race to be the best.

    1. Shown in the movie First Man the death of Neil Armstrong’s daughter affected him greatly. He pushed himself back into work right after and almost ended up losing his job. His characteristics as a person changed and left him having a greater effect on his family. He was very close with his daughter. He even turned down a job opportunity to ensure her heath. She wore a bracelet on her wrist and Neil kept it after his death. One of the last scenes in the movie was Neil leaving her bracelet on the moon showing his compassion and continuation of his mourning of his daughter. Overall i believe the death of his young daughter changed who he was as a person and affected him the most.

    4. I was not surprised at the anti-nasa protests taking place in 1968-1969. This is due to the fact that nasa had created increase of taxes on the American citizens and they were only seeing failures in the organization. Deaths of pilots increased the anti-NASA protest. Throughout this time the Cold War was intensified and Americans began to lose the overall point of the space race. Overall i believe that the downfalls NASA had were so continuous that Americans were unpleased with the organization. The program was nearly shut down but in the end American in 1969 was still able to land the first man on the moon which was the overall goal of NASA in this time period.

  24. Adam Rhen

    3. The filmmaker showed the space program by showing all the hardships and losses that the program went through. The movie showed the vigorous metal and physical training that the astronauts went through like when they spun the astronauts around the test their physical strength, but also the mental side of going through that trama and having to stay calm and regain control. The filmmaker also showed the mortifying scene of the astronauts that were killed by the their cockpit catching on fire. This showed the trial and error part of the program and how it was not perfect in any way.

    4. I was not surprised with the anti-NASA protests that were happening. The civil rights movement really started protests in the U.S. and showed people that they had a voice. The protests were also during the Cold War which was the time of anti-war and vietnam protests. The NASA program was also elevating the space race and most Americans at that point where sick of this. People were also mad because their money was paying for a program that was not showing any results. America was just in a state of frustration and got sick of what was happening and took to the streets with protests to show this.

    5. It was worth the lives and money to go to the moon. The space race to the moon was a scary time during the cold war because no one knew what a country could do if they were able to send someone to the moon. With thoughts of missiles in the back of everyone’s minds, it was a reasonable decision to put so much towards the space program. The lives lost were not in vain because it helped us move forward and get better within the program. The asturnuts knew the danger when they signed up and they also just serving their country just like any other soldier in the military. The money that was poured into NASA was also put to good use and Neil Armstrong would have never set foot on the moon if it was not for the money from the American people. Going to the moon reinsured Americans that they still could compete and be better than the Soviets, which was reinsurance that the U.S. needed desperately.

  25. Sam Mercer

    1. The death of Karen Armstrong at the beginning of the movie affected Neil all the way throughout his journey to the moon. The entire Armstrong family was very sad about her death and at such a young age. Neil wanted to be very close with Karen even after she died holding onto her bracelet all the way until he landed on the moon. Neil and his wife hadn’t really talked about Karen’s death until they moved to a new neighborhood. They first talked about it after his close friend’s funeral who died while landing a plane. Throughout the movie Neil had seen five people who were very close to him pass away. Karen was the most significant to him and you could see he got used to the deaths yet still very shocked about them.

    4. I was not surprised at the protests of NASA during 1968 and 1969. This was the time of the Vietnam War and Shortly after Civil Rights and with many people dying in Vietnam the war was becoming more unpopular. It wasn’t surprising that when many people died during the preparation of going to the moon people didn’t want to spend their taxpayer dollars on NASA. Many African-Americans during this time still weren’t getting totally fair treatment at this time and there were many problems in the US at this time. When the US government showed that it wanted to spend its money and effort into landing on the moon instead of fixing issues at home many Americans became very upset.

    5. I think that cost of money and lives was worth it to land on the moon. During the time of landing on the moon America was in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The space race was part of this Cold War and was a race the Soviets were winning. The Soviets has already sent an aircraft into orbit in space and already had a human in space. America was keeping up with the Soviets but were always 1 step behind. America’s intentions to reach the moon were something announced during the space race by President Kennedy making it clear America wanted to win the space race and land on the moon. The Soviets were behind America on getting to the moon because they didn’t have the type of technology the US had. If the US had never made the efforts to land on the moon we probably would’ve lost the space race which was a crucial battle during the Cold War.

  26. Thomas Forberg

    2. The wives of the astronauts are truely as strong as the astronauts themselves. These women have to watch over the kids make food, hold their whole life together, and worst of all they have to pray everyday that their husbands will come home to see their own children again. In the movie Mrs.Armstrong and many of the wives are constantly listening to the radio. The fear that their husbands will never come home again eats at them for hours as they hide the fear from their friends and children. In the movie Janet tells Neil to tell his sons that he might never come home and they they might never see him again. Janet was terrified of the thought that he might never come home and would have never wanted to share that with her kids.

    4.No, i was not surprised at all. It was a new technology with little to no results for a long period of time. People were also worried that the government was spending to much money on nasa and that there were more important things to do on earth than in the sky. But it was much more than an urge to go into space, it was a battle with the soviets. I do think that the protests were very valid at the time, people were controversial about the cost lives and overall goal of the space program

    5. Yes, i do think it was worth it. The only way humanity is going to survive advance and evolve is to pursue curiosity. When early astronomers first looked at the sky they saw spheres and lights, thousands of years later men are walking on those. The men and women who risked their lives to continue the dream to explore and discover are greatly appreciated and were all part of a greater tomorrow. The annual funding is honestly one of the most important things the government spends money and if anything we should be funding NASA more than we are now to excel technology faster. Space exploration was a dream of humanity and because of the men and women who risked their lives we are where we are today.

  27. Elle Layman

    The death of Neil Armstrong’s daughter, Karen, changed how his family worked. The death of someone close to you is often said to be the hardest thing you can go through. When Neil’s daughter died, a hole was created in the hearts of the entire family that could not be filled. The mother, Janet, tried to get Neil to talk about it but Neil often times refused. To try and fill his void, Neil threw himself into his work and committed himself to being the best he could be and going as far as he can. The kids often did not seem affected by Karen’s death, this is because they were very very young when this happened and did not remember much. After the death, Neil had trouble talking to people and sometimes acted out irrationally. An example of this is when Janet had brought him to a party and he looked at the stars and began to miss Karen, he told Janet he wanted to go home and she said no. Soon after this you see Neil take the car and drive away, alone, leaving Karen to get another ride home from the party. Karen’s death took a toll on everyone in the family, some more than others, but in the end this was still a family and they were still brought together by the love they have for each other in their hearts.
    The wives in this film did a great job of exemplifying the emotions felt by wives in this position. The wives have a very hard position to fill. These women are often seen as having normal lives but they do not. They live their life with the thought of their husbands never coming home. They also deal with the anger of their husbands when they come home, after having a hard day at work. These wives work hard to keep their husbands sane at home, when at work they are anything but. To keep Neil sane, Janet often times threw parties or brought him to parties to get him to socialize. This kept him sane from the human interaction. Janet and all the other wives worked hard to keep their husbands sane and motivated.
    I do believe the money was worth it for this program. When you believe in something so greatly, like accomplishing something like this, it is worth dying for. The people that died, died doing something they love and in their minds, this thing was worth dying for. People took their job to the fullest extent possible and this was a risk they wanted. The money and lives were also worth it because we know what we can accomplish. Overall, the money and lives were worth it because this was a successful mission.

  28. Taylor Mahle

    1. The loss of a child can be hard for a parent, so when Karen died the Armstrong family was devastated. However, Neil had the hardest time after the loss of Karen. Before the passing, Neil spent so much time with her and always deeply cared for her. Neil seemed to be very close to his daughter. Neil even passed up a job opening to look after Karen, and be with her while she was sick. Following the passing, Neil didn’t know how to cope with the situation. Neil went to work the next day, probably to get his mind off of grieving. Karen’s death pushed Neil to become an astronaut that day, she was his motivation. Throughout the rest of the movie, Neil seemed to bury his feelings about Karen, by never talking about the situation. Overall, Karen’s death changed Neil as a person.

    2. Throughout the movie, the wives of the astronauts try to make life as stable as they could. However, they knew that their lives were not normal due to their husband’s job. Janet had to go through a lot as a wife with raising two boys, having to deal with the loss of her daughter and the chance of her husband not coming home. Yet, Janet became friends with Pat, which led to pool parties and neighborhood gathering with their kids. These gathering made their family’s life more normal and distracted the wives from their husband’s job. The wives supported each other when their husband was away risking their lives. For an example, when Pat’s husband died during the testing of the first Apollo, Janet seemed to always check in with Pat.

    5. Yes, I believe that it was worth the cost and lives to go to the moon. From the beginning, the astronauts knew what they were getting into, and how risky this job could be. Yet, they still worked hard to make it to space, and try to beat the Soviets during the space race. Going to space gave us an advantage on the Soviets by showing them what we were capable of.

  29. Anders

    3) Neil cared for his daughter Karen more than anything else and her premature death emotionally scarred him for the rest of the movie. She started experiencing brain tumor symptoms very early in her life and Neil was willing to do anything to help her. Before she died he even turned down a great job opportunity just to be with her and help care for her. Her eventual death traumatized Neil the most and the effect of this trauma can be seen for the rest of the movie. Neil tried to suppress the pain he felt and just worked as hard as he possibly could. He had visions of her during times of hardship and in the climax of the movie he puts her bracelet onto the moon showing her significance to him.
    4) The protests that were shown during the movie did not surprise me because we still see backlash against NASA to this day. The arguments made in the movie are very similar to the ones being made today with money being wasted sending things to space rather than solving the pressing issues here on Earth. It is also not surprising to see backlash before we successfully landed a man on the moon and won the space race. Before we managed to put a man on the moon NASA seemed like a massive expenditure that was still inferior to the Soviet program.
    5) No, I don’t feel that it was worth it to go to the moon because despite all of the inspiration it apparently caused it doesn’t seem to have done anything to ease tensions with the Soviet Union. While it did affirm US technological superiority over the Russians it was not lack of technology that lead to the Soviet demise but overspending in an attempt to keep up with the US arsenal, lack of provisions for their people, and internal social reforms causing unrest not only among the common people but in the bureaucracy. This means that while going to the moon was a nice symbolic victory it had very little in the way of tangible benefits to back up it’s large budget and draining of minds from creating more useful technology.

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