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“Bienvenue sur la lune, Mr. Armstrong!”

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jock123
Moderator
#1 · Posted: 20 Jul 2009 15:56 · Edited by: jock123
[“Welcome to the Moon, Mr. Amstrong!”]

With these words our intrepid Belgian astronaut greeted the U.S. Apollo 11 mission to the Earth’s largest satellite a short 40 years ago today or tomorrow, depending on which side of the Atlantic you are…

…and what a surprise they must have been to Armstrong and Aldrin, as they stepped from the Lunar Module! All that remains of the historic meeting is a single colour illustration (fortunately a tall thin blonde man stood silently in the background, sketching the occasion - only Belgians would forget a camera and take a cartoonist to do a lightning BD of such an event instead!).

All joking aside, the 40 years since I watched the first men walk on the lunar surface, in very grainy black and white, images which are etched in my brain. Sitting with my family and my cousins and aunt and uncle, at some wee small hour (I’d never been up so late!) the ghostly figures on the screen were as amazing as Doctor Who, or Thunderbirds or Lost in Space - or even Tintin!

Years later, I went to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and saw a Saturn V rocket, and a Lunar Module, and a Command Module, and sat in Mission Control while a simulated launch took place. I also saw a recording of Mr. Armstrong talking of his experience, and - perhaps best of all - touched a piece of the Moon…

Hergé, a long-time science buff and space fan, marked the event with a special cartoon panel; he also was a correspondent of the very same Mr. Armstrong. Both are heroes of mine, and of others, so on this fortieth anniversary, I’m sure that I will be amongst many in recalling the event, and hoping that we return to the exploration of the solar system very soon.

Bienvenue sur la lune!
cigars of the beeper
Member
#2 · Posted: 21 Jul 2009 19:06
I'm a big fan of the Apollo program, and I'm a bit disappointed to have not even been near being born at the time. Supposedly NASA has plans for another Moon program, but it just wouldn't be the same.
jock123
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 21 Jul 2009 19:22 · Edited by: jock123
Ah, Mr. The Beeper, my fellow Apollo fan, console yourself with the thought that you are probably going to see more future space-developments than us old crocks who gathered round the TV in 1969!

Today’s Le Monde has the professor’s rocket zooming round the mast-head on the front page, and a 12 page supplement dedicated to the Moon, much of it revolving around Tintin and Hergé - the “Bienvenue!” cartoon is on the cover of the supplement, and they reproduce a picture I have seen before of Hergé presenting Apollo astronaut Frank Borman with the Moon books (in English) while he visited Brussels in 1969.

Le Monde are also doing a special edition of the books in a 2-1 volume, with 16 pages of “archives”, although I don’t know if this a supplement of general space material relating to the real 1969 Moon landing, or to do with the books.

Update: I was fascinated to find out that Tintin has been in space: French astronaut Patrick Baudry took a postcard on the Discovery, with the design of the poster for the Ils Ont Marché sur la Lune exhibition on it (based on the “Bienvenue, Mr. Armstrong!” image) which he then showed live on TF1 on the 23rd of June 1985, at 13:00, while travelling at 28,000Km/H, at an altitude of 350Km. The card was signed on the back by Fanny Remi and Bob de Moor, amongst others.

The exhibition book tells me Tintin & Cº made 112 orbits, and were in space for 167 hours and 39 minutes, covering 4,652,968.5Km - not quite to the Moon, but more in space than I will ever be!
Richard
UK Correspondent
#4 · Posted: 22 Jul 2009 14:22
jock123
jock123:
Le Monde are also doing a special edition of the books in a 2-1 volume, with 16 pages of “archives”, although I don’t know if this a supplement of general space material relating to the real 1969 Moon landing, or to do with the books.

According to Tintin.com, the "archives" section includes the Studios Hergé version of the 1969 Moon landing in its entirety (the four pages drawn for Paris Match), and also frames removed from the finished books and a "memorable mistake" (don't know what that is...). The newspaper itself (Le Soir) features articles on the rocket, the lunar tank, two versions of Wolff's final letter and a reproduction of pages 20 & 21 of the original Journal Tintin pages.
comixfanboy
Member
#5 · Posted: 22 Jul 2009 17:04
Richard, jock123,
Could you post online links to these articles (if there are any) to the newspaper Le Soir before it disappears from the website! :-). Most of the non-French speakers here I guess would love to see the pictures at least! :-)

Thanks so much folks!
jock123
Moderator
#6 · Posted: 22 Jul 2009 20:14 · Edited by: jock123
Sorry, comixfanboy, I didn’t find the Le Monde stuff on line; I actually bought the physical news paper. It was just lucky that I happened to be at Waterloo station last night, and saw the paper for sale in WHSmith.

You can buy a PDF of issues from their web-site. However, you seem to have to buy a months worth at a time or something…

It sounds like they may have gleaned at least some of the archive material for the 2-in-1 from the Ils Ont Marché sur la Lune - but I can’t remember if that mentions a mistake, and as I just went and put my copy away, I’ll leave that for just now.

Update: You can use the interactive section of the Le Monde website to see some Tintin-related rocket stuff. Not quite the same as the paper, but similar…
cigars of the beeper
Member
#7 · Posted: 25 Jul 2009 13:42
I just remembered that I think that a couple of years ago, someone mentioned that Herge and Neil Armstrong were pen pals, or at least just exchanged several letters. Am I remembering this correctly?
jock123
Moderator
#8 · Posted: 25 Jul 2009 15:30
cigars of the beeper:
someone mentioned that Herge and Neil Armstrong were pen pals, or at least just exchanged several letters. Am I remembering this correctly?

Yes, as far as can be said, this is true; just how “chatty” they were I don’t know, but the story is as you recall.

Hergé was also in touch with other astronauts too - in addition to the meeting with Frank Borman, the Ils Ont Marché sur la Lune book shows autographed messages from John Young and Bob Crippen, the commander and pilot (respectively) of STS-1, the first orbital Space Shuttle mission in Columbia. I don’t know if he met them, but the messages were dedicated to Hergé at the 14th Salon International de l’Aéronautique et d l’Espace de Paris, at Le Bourget on the 3rd of June, 1981.

On another matter, in addition to Tintin actually being in space, as I mentioned above, I also neglected to mention that of course Hergé too is in orbit, if in name only: on Georges Remi’s 75th birthday Asteroid 1652 in the register of Minor Circular Planets was named Hergé in his honour by l’Union Astronomique Inernationale. The asteroid had been discovered in 1953 by astronomer Sylvain Arend of the observatory at Uccle, and the dedication was suggested by Jean Meeus of la Société Belge d’Astronomie.
jock123
Moderator
#9 · Posted: 25 Aug 2012 23:46 · Edited by: jock123
Sadly, news has come through of the death of Neil Armstrong; a truly intrepid man, and a great loss…

Neil Armstrong - 1930-2012
tintinsgf
Member
#10 · Posted: 26 Aug 2012 10:35
jock123:
On another matter, in addition to Tintin actually being in space, as I mentioned above, I also neglected to mention that of course Hergé too is in orbit, if in name only

And don't forget Castafiore too! She also got her name to be given also as an asteroid name. She is truly a stellar singer, no? LOL *lame pun? sorry then... (^_^'a )*

Don't worry Armstrong, you'll always be remembered.. :"(

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