Last month I had the distinct privilege of attending the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Omega Speedmaster. While I am usually rather skeptical about anniversaries of watches, I have no problem whatsoever with celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first watch on the moon. As part of the celebrations, two gentlemen who were present during the festivities, named Mr. Buzz Aldrin and Mr. George Clooney, got together to talk shop. While Buzz actually walked on the moon, George also had some experience (well, not really, but in the movie Gravity it looked cool) and they discussed what Buzz’s achievements meant to George, and millions of other Earthlings.
Without further ado…. here’s a transcript of the meeting between Buzz and George.
George: There he is!
Buzz: Of my goodness, I get to meet George! George the man!
George: Wow you look good. Let’s take a look at these pictures over here… Let me ask you something. When I was growing up, everything was about the space programme. Everything was about the possibility of the imagination. Did you understand, at the time, that all of our hopes and dreams were right there with you?
Buzz: Yeah the programme was progressing. It sure was. I didn’t know where I would be in the progression, but that all changed in favourable directions, fortunately. But let me ask you, what were you doing when we first landed on the moon?
George: I was at home watching the landing on television with my mother and father and my sister. And we went outside, and we had this rinky-dink telescope that we bought. I was eight years old and we looked through the telescope and I explained to my parents that I could see you guys walking on the moon – which of course was impossible. It was such a huge thing for so many people.
Buzz: It brought the world together. The pact that we left of the moon was very appropriate. It said, “We came in peace for all mankind.” And as we were going around in parades, occasionally you’d see a sign that said, “We did it.” Not “You did it”, but “We did it.”
George: And there was some discussion that you might have been the first on the moon.
Buzz: All the previous space walking was just one person, so the commander stayed inside because there was a lot of experiments to do and a heavy training workload. Especially on a lunar landing. So there wasn’t a clear history as to what you should do. The symbology of the commander being the first, without a doubt, that has to be done first.
George: And now you want it to continue. You want people to go to Mars.
Buzz: Of course, yeah. But we have to do some things at the moon and bring some nations together. We need to build partnerships. It should be a coalition of nations. Not a couple of wealthy people. It may look that way, because some people are doing some very nice pioneering work. But this should be a world effort.
George: I heard some funny stories. I heard you were the first person to urinate in space. Is it true?
Buzz: Ah… yeah. In the suit. Usually we don’t do that. It gets a little messy. But when you’re outside for a long time, you know, someone always has to test something ahead of time (laughs). But I have to tell you, I was really jealous of you in Gravity, when you went moving around. Because I was supposed to fly the real manoeuvring unit, but at the last minute it was removed. And I was real sorry about that. I had to live my life through you.
George: Yeah, but in the film I ended up not making it. So that was probably better for you. People come up to me all the time and tell me it’s not very realistic in Gravity and I say, “Well we didn’t really go to space! It was just a movie.”
Buzz: Well it was very realistic looking, especially when the space station started tearing apart. But Sandra really did a beautiful job. Amazing.
George: Isn’t she great! She’s a wonderful actress and an old friend. We’ve been friends for about 30 years so we had a good time. But overall, I mean, if you think about that century, the 20th century, it really has to be the most amazing century we’ve ever had.
Buzz: My mother was born the year that the Wright brother first flew. Marion Moon was her name. Then as a teenager I saw the world in conflict. That was quite an experience to see. Then I had a chance to get involved with the military, in the Korean War. I came back and lobbied my way into NASA and ended up on the first landing. And now I’m trying to help other people to land on Mars. What a time in the Earth’s existence, for an individual to be alive. I’m so fortunate for all the things that have come along.
George: You’ve been on the front line of some of the most amazing experiences in our history.
Buzz: It’s not a sense of duty. It’s because I love thinking about how we can do things better.
George: And I like the tux you’re wearing.
Buzz: This tux is from Dancing with the Stars.
George: How did you do?
Buzz: It’s an exercise. A real bad exercise. I was kind of happy when I got finished.
George: You want to give me the names of some judges you want me to go hurt? I’ll take care of them for you.
Buzz: (laughs) It’s a little late to be changing things. So when are you going to retire?
George: Me? Right now. We’re going to retire to the bar. You and me. Come on, I’ll buy you a drink.
Now I do not know which movie these two gentlemen watched together, however these two are my favorites of the list of videos dedicated to the exploration of space and the moon and the Omega Speedmaster.
However I encourage you to have a look at all the videos on Omega in Space channel at Youtube.