(1969) Astronaut lands on the moon


(July 20, 1969) Jacques Piccard, oceanographer

‘There is no weekend underwater. The watches succeed the watches. The work has to be done as usual. A Bible is on board. During the day we wait with impatience for the news of the moon landing. The message arrives finally at 4:20 pm and it is short and precise without any comments. ‘Two Americans have landed on the moon.’ So that is all we are to learn about the most beautiful, technical achievement ever made by mankind. Save for some 800 million Chinese and Albanians, we are the only people on earth not to have witnessed this historic event on our television screens. We must wait to enjoy the moment vicariously. Tonight I saw at my porthole a big salp, a sea creature perhaps 10 inches long and two to three inches in diameter. I could see it swimming, ejecting water from within itself to propel itself in circles through the water.’