First Man Trailer Inspired This Blog Post

BY now most of you had seen the First Man movie trailer. If not you can watch it below. It gives us a sneak peek of the movie which is slated to be released in October 2018. In this trailer we get to see snippets of dramatic scene of  rocket launch, test pilot crashes, landing on the moon by Lunar Module and off course  seeing the main actor Ryan Gosling acting as Neil Armstrong.

The success of the movie “Hidden Figures” probably encouraged the industry to  make movies of historical events. So this upcoming movie is about putting man onto the Moon.

So what did I do after seeing the trailer?

It piqued my interest so much that I decided to find out more about the Apollo Space program and details of the movie, like who is who in the movie.

Here is a brief background of the movie.

According to Wikipedia website, the movie is based on a book  “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” written by James R. Hansen.


First Man is an upcoming American biographical historical drama adventure space film directed by Damien Chazelle and the screenplay written by Josh Singer, based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen. The film stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, alongside Claire Foy, Corey Stoll, Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Shea Whigham, and Christopher Abbott, and depicts the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Steven Spielberg serves as an executive producer. The film is scheduled to be released in the United States on October 12, 2018.

“The riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost—on Armstrong and on the nation—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.”


So the movie is about the Apollo program mainly through the experience of Neil Armstrong.

It was the late President Kennedy who initiated the mission to the moon (more on that later). We now know that it was Apollo 11 which finally placed the first man on the moon. The first man to step and walk on the Moon was Niel Armstrong who uttered the now famous words.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”

first man actor - Ryan Gosling

In the movie, Canadian movie star Ryan Gosling (left) is Neil Armstrong. He also stared in another hit movie LaLaLand. The picture on the left is taken from Wikipedia from this link

And here is more background details about the movie. According to Wikipedia, the rights to make a movie based on the book was purchased by Clint Eastwood and Warner Bros in 2003.

In 2003, Clint Eastwood and Warner Bros. bought the film rights to the Neil Armstrong biography First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong written by James R. Hansen.[8] Universal Pictures bought the rights later and planned to make a film of the book, with title First Man.[9]

On November 24, 2015, it was announced that Ryan Gosling was cast to play the titular role, while Damien Chazelle would direct from a script by Josh Singer[10] and Nicole Perlman. In March 2017, the film received a release date of October 12, 2018.[11]

The year 2003 , this was almost 15 years ago! Why it took so long, well that’s not important now. What is important is that we finally get to see the story about the Apollo program and the first man to land on the moon being made into a movie .

This is great for generations, like me who did not have the chance to view the moon’s landing back in  20th July,1969 almost 49 years now. It must had been a tremendous and  incredible event at that time since it marked a major milestone of human achievement.

While Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, we should not forget that there were another two men on that historical day. See, the Apollo capsule can accommodate 3 astronauts. The other two astronauts were Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

Buzz Aldrin together with Neil Armstrong went down to the moon in a Lunar Module named Eagle while Michael Collins remained in the Command Module (CM), named Columbia as he is the pilot of the Command Module for Apollo 11. The CM was orbiting the moon, so some one had to pilot and control it. Michael Collins was tasked with it.

Thus Buzz Aldrin became the second man to walk on the moon after Neil Armstrong.

Here are the other actors who acted as the other two astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in the movie.


In the movie , Buzz Aldrin is played by American actor Corey Daniel Stoll (above)


While Michael Collins is played by Lukas Daniel Haas, an American actor and musician.

Picture credits of both actors : Wikipedia.

Probably the landings would not had been accomplished that early if President Kennedy had not set-out this challenge. So why did he do it when it was well known that it was almost an impossible task given the technology back then. Even now in 2018, it is still a difficult task to go to the Moon.

At that era, many Americans perceived that the USA was losing technical superiority to the USSR, the former Soviet Union and the Space Race included. The Soviet Union had already successfully launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, which is almost four years earlier by then.

The perception increased when, on April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space before the U.S.

So the US must do something to catch up fast. Thus under such  pressure, the plan to go to the Moon was mooted in the early days of 1961 when President Kennedy presented this challenge in a speech to Congress. An extract below.

On May 25, 1961, twenty days after the first US manned spaceflight Freedom 7, Kennedy proposed the manned Moon landing in a Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs:

Now it is time to take longer strides – time for a great new American enterprise – time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth.

…I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important in the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish

It was not until the speech he gave at Rice University that galvanized and inspired the American people to support the Apollo program and to land a man on the Moon and bring him back safely to Earth.

Here is apart of that famous speech:

We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills; because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win .

Below is a video of this famous speech. The famous Moon line is at about at 8:40 into the video.

The Rice University, Going to the Moon speech by JFK

By now we know the successful outcome of this challenge. The Apollo mission managed to sent man to the Moon and successfully returned them safely back to Earth.

With the successful landing of the moon on 20th July 1969, there will be five more subsequent Apollo missions which also landed astronauts on the Moon.

The last one was Apollo 17, in December 1972. A total of  twelve men walked the Moon during the these six spaceflights.

However sadly, President Kennedy did not see the successful  outcome of his challenge because he was  assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963. Furthermore since the successful landing on the Moon, NASA and the space program seemed to lost its vision and direction.

Just wondered what will the state of space exploration be if Kennedy was not assassinated.

Nevertheless this movie “First Man” will be a testament to the capability of mankind, what can be achieve when there is a single focus and goal. It will serve as a lesson for many generation to come. And re quoting President Kennedy’s speech:

For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man,

Thousand of men and women had worked hard and even lost their lives in this, so lets hope and pray that space science endeavor will be for good forever. Hopefully this movie will also serve as a reminder and  tribute of all the men and women ( regardless of nationality and race ) who had served in the space programs.

In the mean time I am eagerly  awaiting for this movie as well as any latest development of it, so that is why this blog is about. Anyway get ready the pop corns and set a date with this movie in October 2018.

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