Low gravity communion
Posted on 14 September 2012, 3:17
A lovely and intriguing piece in the Guardian today by my friend Matthew Cresswell, on how Nasa imposed radio silence on Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin when he took communion shortly after the first moon landing.
Nasa was being sued at the time for the religious content of the Apollo 8 mission, when 10 verses from the first chapter of Genesis were read out on Christmas Eve while the astronauts orbited the moon, so Buzz was told to play down his private act of communion.
Aldrin’s description of the moment caught my eye: ‘I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup.’
It reminded me of a cartoon I drew for my 1991 book of cartoons, When Clergymen Ruled the Earth, about the perils of hitting escape velocity during Pentecostal-style rave-ups on the lunar surface. Since the book’s out of print (although used copies are selling for one penny on Amazon, hallelujah!) I’m posting it here in celebration.
See it in glorious hi-def on Flickr