‘We copy you down, Eagle.
Houston, Tranquility Base here.’
‘The Eagle has landed.’
“Houston, this is Neil. Radio check.” The voice of the commander called through the relay.
“Neil, this is Houston. Break, Break. Buzz, this is Houston. Radio check and verify TV circuit breaker in,” Bruce McCandless responded from his position at mission control, a quarter of a million miles away.
“Roger, TV circuit breakers in, and read you five square,” Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin chimed.
“Roger. We’re getting a picture on the TV,” Capsule communications called back.
“You got a good picture, huh?” The lunar module pilot asked.
“There’s a great deal of contrast in it, and currently it’s upside down on our monitors, but we can make out a fair amount of detail.”
“Okay. Will you verify the position- the opening I ought to have on the camera?” Edwin asked.
The picture flickered to life all across the globe. Millions upon millions of people and ponies all turned their attention towards their fuzzy TV sets. Weather they be at home, on the street looking into a store, or in a bar watching with a drink in hand.
Or in Rainbow Dash’s case. Huddled around the screen with her five other friends in their high-class hotel room, sitting a scant few inches from the fascinating box.
The six elements, plus both princesses had travelled to Earth to witness the event, seeing as there was no way for television signals to be broadcast between the worlds. Rainbow was elated to discover that the landing was not only televised, but that they had also scored a room with a TV in it.
“Okay. Neil, we can see you coming down the ladder now,” the voice of capsule communications said in it’s telltale staticy voice.
The voice of the man, not ten feet from the moon responded. “Okay. I just checked getting back up to that first step, Buzz. It’s- not even collapsed too far, but it’s adequate to get back up.”
“Roger. We copy,” Houston replied for Buzz.
Rainbow felt giddy with excitement. To hear of the moon landing was one thing. To be privileged enough to see it? Rainbow had never felt luckier in her life. Back on Equestria, bearing witness to an event like this would have probably only been reserved to nobles and those who could afford to attend a magical screening. Yet here on Earth, it was being broadcast around the entire globe, for all to witness, free of charge.
“It takes a pretty good little jump,” Neil Armstrong commented, bouncing up and down on the ladder of the lander.
“Buzz, this is Houston. two- one-one hundred sixty th second for shadow photography on the sequence camera.”
Neil spoke up. “I’m at the foot of the ladder. The Lem footpads are only depressed in the surface about one or two inches, although the surface appears to be very, very fine grained, as you get close to it. It’s almost like a powder. Down there, it’s very fine.”
The astronaut approached the lunar soil tentatively. The entire world below them held its breath for the upcoming event. Never had an event been so anticipated before throughout the entire planet.
“I’m going to step off the lem now,” Armstrongs radio crackled.
One human nine-and-a-half-sized pressurized boot found its way onto the surface on another world. The weight of a living, breathing human being was being supported by the orb that had so long taunted them from the night sky.
“That’s one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.”
There they were. The words that would be forever remember. The single most memorized and quoted phrase in human history. The words that would stick with humanity for the rest of the races existence. The words that, for one brief, shining moment, unified the planet.
Since the dawn of humanity, they had only sped up. Forever developing, inventing, discovering. Looking back was considered irrelevant, their greatest asset was their minds. Progress was survival, and this gave birth to anger.
Disagreements turned into arguments. Arguments to fights. Fights to war, it just got worse and worse. But, on July twentieth, nineteen sixty-nine. It all paused.
A single man had achieved peace. If only for a few moments, he had done what world leaders had failed to in the entirety of history. And he had done so, by doing one simple thing.
He walked on the moon.
“And the—the surface is fine and powdery. I can—I can pick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers like powdered charcoal to the sole and sides of my boots. I only go in a small fraction of an inch, maybe an eighth of an inch, but I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine, sandy particles,” the moonwalker continued.
“Neil, this is Houston. We’re copying,” Bruce spoke up from his seat at CAPCOM back on Earth.
“There seems to be no difficulty in moving around as we suspected. It's even perhaps easier than the simulations at one sixth G that we performed in the various simulations on the ground. It's actually no trouble to walk around. Okay. The descent engine did not leave a crater of any size. It has about one foot clearance on the ground. We're essentially on a very level place here. I can see some evidence of rays emanating from the descent engine, but a very insignificant amount.”
“Okay Buzz, we ready to bring the camera down?”
“I’m all ready. I think it’s been squared away and in good shape,” Edwin responded.
“Okay. you’ll have to pay out all the LEC. It looks like it’s coming out nice and evenly.” Buzz commented.
“Okay. It’s quite dark here in the shadow and a little hard for me to see that I have good footing. I’ll work my way over into the sunlight here without looking directly into the Sun.” Neil said as he began to work upon the Lunar Equipment Conveyor.
“Okay it’s taunt now.”
Buzz looked over. “Okay. I think you’re pulling the wrong one.”
“I’m just- Okay. I’m ready to pull it down now. There was still a little bit left in the-”
“Okay. Don’t hold it quite so tight,” Buzz cautioned.
Neil began again. “Looking up at the lem, I’m standing directly in the shadow now looking up at Buzz in the window. And I can see everything quite clearly. The light is sufficiently bright, backlighted into the front of the lem, that everything is clearly visible.”
“Okay. I’m going to be changing the ***” Houston never did catch that part, but it didn’t subtract from the power of the event.
“Okay. The camera is installed on the RCU bracket, and I’m storing the LEC on the secondary strut.” Neil spoke.
“I’ll step out and take some of my first pictures here,” he added.
“Roger. Neil, we’re reading you loud and clear. We see you getting some pictures and the contingency sample,” CAPCOM chirped, however Armstrong failed to respond. Too lost in the moment.
“Neil, this is Houston. Did you copy about the contingency sample? Over.”
“Roger. I’m going to get to that just as soon as I finish these picture series.”
Buzz spoke up from inside the module, “Okay. Going to get the contingency sample there, Neil,” he repeated.
“Right,” Neil replied, making his way over to the sample.
“Okay. That’s good.”
“Okay. The contingency sample is down and it's ***. Looks like it's a little difficult to dig through the initial crust.” Neil commented, his message garbling slightly.
“This is very interesting. It's a very soft surface, but here and there where I plug with the contingency sample collector, I run into a very hard surface, but it appears to be very cohesive material of the same sort. I'll try to get a rock in here. Just a couple.”
“That looks beautiful from here, Neil,” Buzz commented from the window of the Lunar Excursion module.
“It has a stark beauty all its own. It's like much of the high desert of the United States. It's different but it's very pretty out here. Be advised that a lot of the rock samples out here, the hard rock samples, have what appear to be vesicles in the surface. Also, I am looking at one now that appears to have some sort of phenocryst,” Armstrong replied.
CAPCOM chimed in. “Roger. Houston. Out.”
The rest of the broadcast continued much in the same fashion. Buzz soon joined his partner upon the surface, and both engaged into the set task they had been given. All the while, Rainbow sat glued to the screen. Some of her friends, mainly Rarity and Fluttershy had lost interest, watching the grainy images. Rainbow and Twilight were riveted firmly to the soft carpet floor, watching every detail they were given.
The visuals were simply amazing. Rainbow had a hard enough time trying to wrap her head around how they could film something, then put it into this tiny box. All without using any kind of film or projector.
Another layer of mind boggling assaulted the mare when she tried to figure out how they did it wirelessly all the way from the moon. Twilight had tried to explain it was being picked up by some Radio receiver in Australia, but that just confused her more.
Finally, Applejack spoke up. “Ah don’t see why this is such a big deal. Ah mean, we did this a thousand years ago, without no fancy science.”
Rainbow looked over to the Apple farmer like she had grown a second head. “Are you serious, AJ? This is the most amazing thing i’ve ever seen! They did this! These humans”- she pointed to the TV- “Did what pegasi have only fantasied of doing!”
“Yeah, but Luna did it,” Applejack responded, clearly not seeing how much this occasion meant to the mare.
“Yes because Celestia used the elements to banish her there! We put a princess on the moon one thousand years ago as a prisoner. We used it as a cell, and we’ll never see it any other way!” She shouted.
“Here, though,” she quieted, “the humans see it as a place of wonder and excitement. A goal for everypony to reach for, just because it’s there.”
Twilight was a surprised by Rainbows words. “That was really inspirational, Rainbow,” she said with a soft smile,
Rainbow returned it. “It’s just so awesome, ya know? There are guys walking on another planet without magic. And they’re up there just because their president wanted them to. I think that is so amazing,” she trailed off.
“I think Dashie’s got the hots for humanity!” Pinkie chimed in a sing song tone.
“S-shut up! I don’t! I just think their cool is all.”
“Aw, I didn’t think you were into inter-species relations Rainbow,” Twilight chuckled.
“Geez you guys are annoying!” Rainbow shouted, wings spring open before launching herself out the nearby window.
Finding a nearby cloud, she huffed down on it. She layed there for a while before rolling over onto her back, to find Twilight floating above her, suspended by a magical field.
“I’m sorry Rainbow. We were just joking. Personally, I think it would be cute if you found a nice human male,” she said sheepishly.
Rainbow groaned. “No Twi it’s not that!” She called up.
Sensing Rainbow had something else on her mind, she quickly cast a cloud walking spell on herself and dropped down beside her pegasus friend.
“So what is it then?”
Rainbow, paused for a moment, before turning to Twilight with a determined expression.
“I wanna go to the moon.”
Twilight was taken aback. “What? Why would you wanna go there? It nearly drove princess Luna insane,”
Rainbow groaned again. “I thought you were listening, Twi! Everypony sees the moon as a bad place. I wanna change that. I wanna go there and show them that if we put our minds to it, we can be just as good as the humans!”
“Oh so thats what this is about,” Twilight smirked. “You’re jealous!”
“What!? No I’m not!”
“Oh ho ho this is too good! The mighty Rainbow Dash is jealous of some hairless apes!”
Rainbow did a double take. “That was a bit harsh, Twi.”
Twilight stopped laughing as the words registered. “Oh my gosh it was! I-I don’t-”
“Save it Twilight, you grew up around Shining Armour, we all know he's a racist,” Rainbow cut her off, with some truth to her words. It was no secret her brother did not favour the bipeds.
“So Dash,” Twilight spoke up. “You want to be the first pony in space. Without magic?” She asked.
“Yeah,” Rainbow said with a smile, looking skyward.
“What about the Wonderbolts?”
“I dunno. I’ve always wanted to be one of those, but an astronaut? Sign me up.”
“Okay so... Why? Why become the first pegasus on the moon?” Twilight enquired.
Rainbow searched her soul for an answer, finding a single sentence she had said earlier.
“Because it’s there.”