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Erik van Meijgaarden

Erik van Meijgaarden

I was born in 1966 in The Hague, The Netherlands and now reside in Rotterdam with my wife and two sons. Everyday life includes work as a consultant in human resource-issues.

In December 1972, when I was six years old, my mother took me home from school and installed me in front of the television, telling me "Better watch this; you won't have a chance of seeing this again for a long time". How prophetic those words were! Later I realized that I had been watching the unloading of the Lunar Rover on the Apollo 17 mission.

Since then, I have had a fascination for manned spaceflight in general and the Apollo program in particular. Living in the Netherlands, one gets little opportunity to maintain such an interest other than through books and - later - video. The fascination slipped into hibernation as the years passed, but in 1987 I had a chance to visit Johnson Space Centre. Seeing the relics of a time when everything seemed to have a higher purpose made me aware that, although I have a healthy spectrum of interests, Apollo still holds that special place.

Today, as I work on various projects, I get an ever-increasing admiration for the immense and complex tasks accomplished by the men and women working on Apollo. Technology, organization, management, it's all pretty hard to imagine how it all could be done in a few years.

Meanwhile my sons reveal themselves almost as much a space enthusiast as you can expect from a couple of schoolboys, and, together with them, I'm enjoying and rediscovering the glorious pioneer years of early spaceflight.

The Apollo Lunar Surface Journals and Flight Journals are the perfect key to unlock much of the fragmented knowledge I gained over the years. It's fascinating to see that the combination of images, audio, video, reports and documents in a way that the pieces of the puzzle all come together, everything starts to make sense and can be shared and enjoyed thoroughly. I'm very proud that I can make a contribution.

October 2006