Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins (L to R) answer to the press and public, as they will the rest of their lives
You are the crew of Apollo 11
It is the evening of July 14, 1969,
little more than 50 hours until launch
And you are sitting in a glass cage,
TV cameras on the other side,
questions from four reporters pumped in from miles away.
Two days until launch and you are
answering questions, some simple,
some unanswerable, some inane. You answer
them all. This is your life, this is what,
when the questions posed in future tense
shift to past tense, you will answer
for the rest of your life,
locking you in the past, no matter
how you try to achieve escape velocity,
no matter how much “delta V” you carry
— change in velocity, as measured in fuel.
When asked if there is anything about the LM
you’d change, you think delta V, fuel for hovering time:
“You’d always like to have more delta V.”
This will be your life after the flight,
more real than the moon.
You’ll never have enough delta V to escape it.