“THAT’S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND” said by Neil Armstrong as he touched the soil of Lunar surface for the first time in the history of mankind. On 16th July 1969 the world watched in anticipation as three men were hurtled skyward in a rocket bound for the moon. It was A Saturn V rocket more than 36 storey high on which the three astronauts embarked on a greatest mission of NASA ever conducted and dream a of John F Kennedy. It took them nearly 4 days to reach the moon and then only two astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong descended to the lunar surface. The third astronaut Michael Collins stayed in the command module and orbited the moon. As the craft passed through the shadow of the moon and started its approach, Aldrin and Armstrong got into the spider-like lunar module and began their descent
“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”
At this point NASA was at it’s peak. Neil Armstrong just landed on the moon and gave RT to Huston. First ever vehicle to land on the moon. When the astronauts took off their helmets inside the LM after their moonwalk, they noticed a strong odor. Neil described it as “wet ashes in a fireplace” and Buzz as “spent gunpowder”. It was the smell of moondust. NASA, by the way, had been worried that moondust might explode on contact with oxygen. But it went all well and Neil Armstrong opened the hatch and came down. Afterwards Buzz Aldrin followed him. They spent nearly 2hr.30min on the lunar surface collecting valuable soil and information. They also place United States Of America’s flag and talked to President live. After completing their EVA Armstrong and Aldrin logged 21 hours on the moon—spending the last and longest portion of it trying to sleep in the frigid lander. Then they lifted off to rendezvous with Collins and Columbia for the return voyage.
On July 24 1969 the capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
After placing first person in the space, Russian’s overpowered the US in the space race. It was a humility and disgrace to the US. So the then president of United States John F Kennedy felt that NASA should do something big something which the world will remember for ever. Kennedy announced publicly that US will put man on the moon and will bring him back to Earth by the end of the decade.
Alan Shepherd became the first American in space with his suborbital flight aboard the Freedom 7 spacecraft after Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on May 1961.
It was named for the son of Zeus in Greek mythology, often known as the god of light and the sun.
But the first mission almost brought U.S. moon-landing efforts to an abrupt end.
On January 27, 1967, a flash fire occurred in the Apollo 1 command module during a launch simulation, killing the three astronauts meant to pilot the mission.
After going through such tragedy and trauma NASA moved on and in early 1969 when Apollo 10 made revolution around the moon and practising landing attempts for the up coming Apollo 11 mission. After Apollo 11, 6 more mission were carried out and only one failed when Apollo 13’s oxygen tanks blew and had to abort.
APOLLO 11 Facts
Lunar Module: Eagle
Command Module: Columbia
Crew: Neil Armstrong (Commander)
Michael Collins (command module pilot)
Buzz Aldrin (pilot lunar module)
Launch: July 16 1969:
Landing Site: Mare Tranqualitatis (Sea of Tranquality)
Landing on Moon: July 20, 1969
First Step: 02:56:15 UT July 21,1969
EVA Duration: 2 hrs 31min
Moon Rock Collected: 21.7Kg
Overall Mission Duration: 195hrs 18min 35sec
- Plaque(commemorates first manned landing)
Carried to Moon and returned two large American flags, flags of the 50 states, District of Columbia and U.S. Territories, flags of other nations and that of the United Nations.
- MEPS (Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly) containing TV camera to record first steps on Moon and EASEP (Early Apollo Science Equipment Package).
- First men on the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. First return of samples from another planetary body.
The prime mission objective of Apollo 11 is stated simply: “Perform a manned lunar landing and return”.
First return of samples from another planetary body. These first samples were basalts, dark-colored igneous rocks, and they were about 3.7 billion years old.
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