"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." - John F. Kennedy as he issued the nation a mission, to overcome a manned lunar landing safely, before the Soviets. Of the great ensemble consisting of tens of thousands of engineers, scientists, and support staffers, the three heroes of it all would be Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11, Buzz Aldrin, Lunar module pilot, and Michael collins, the command module pilot.
The world would never be the same after this mission. The space race began long ago, when the Soviets launched Sputnick, holding a live dog, but their largest accomplishment was soon to come. Russia achieved to send Major Yuri Gagarin into space and he was the first person to orbit the earth. That is when Kennedy decided to send the U.S on course to the moon.
The historic mission began on July 16, 1969 when the Saturn V took off into the sky as millions watched. After several false alarms, Apollo 11 landed safely on the sea of tranquillity on July 20th, 1969. A great sigh of relief swept through the nation. Six and a half hours after the landing, the hatch was open and Neil Armstrong would crawl out feet first in the moments to follow. As Armstrong stepped off the LEM (footpad) and onto the moon's surface, the words that came out of his mouth next would would be forever remembered... "That's one small step for man - one giant leap for mankind." On the earth, back at home in America, a hand written note was placed on President Kennedy's grave, it read, "Mr. President, the Eagle has landed."
The Soil on the moon is very fine, making it so that when Aldrin and Armstrong stepped on the moon, their footsteps became sharp and defined. Since there is little or no erosion on the moon, the astronauts' footsteps will be preserved on the earth's surface for millions of years. Since it took a while for Armstrong to walk comfortably, considering his total weight was merely 60 pounds, he walked around with a long handed tool, in case the moon visit were to be cut short, this tool would take a quick sample of the surface and put it into a teflon bag.
After 2 hours and 31 minutes walking on the moon, it was time to go home. When Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong attempted to get some rest, they had no luck. Aldrin said they were too wet and damp in their space suits and too excited to sleep. Seven hours later, Houston called in and they prepared for the journey home.
At an Apollo 11 party, Nixon made a very strong statement, "Here's to the Apollo program. It's all over." it's all over? Having achieved our Nation's great goal, many could not think of what to do next. In a way Nixon was right, Apollo 11 was a closed ambition, so what was next? After the return of Apollo 11, NASA had enough enough hardware for 19 more missions, summing it all up to Apollo 20, this would be a mission to make it to the dramatic copernicus crater. In the end, shortly after Apollo 13 returned, Apollos 18, 19, and 20 looked unlikey.
Apollo 13 was to be the next big news story in the nation. People began to pay more attention to the mission when it came around that there had been an explosion on board, making it the only journey to the moon that would fail. In the 87 long hours to follow, the Nation held it's breath as the crew members barely gripped onto life. The dropping temperatures made it through to the crew's thin flight suits. They miracurously made it through the days and finally made it home.
Everyone who watched from Earth as Neil Armstrong stepped out of the capsule and on to the Moon remembers where they were at the time. It was one of the defining moments of the twentieth century, and one of man's greatest achievements.
In the past Apollo expeditions to the moon we have learned a great deal. There have been many scientific discoveries in the past century. For instance we have learned that the moon is lifeless, there is not a trace of life, neither past or present. We owe a lot of the discoveries to the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins acomplished to bring home several samples of the Moon.
One interesting discovery made was that the Earth and the Moon are related. Both Moon and Earth rocks contain a common oxygen isotopic compositions that clearly shows the Moon and Earth have close ancestry. However, the moon has been effaced of iron, and active elements which are needed in order to make atmospheric gases and water.
A long time ago, the moon was greatly melted into a "magma ocean." About 4.4-4.6 billion years ago, when the magma ocean existed, a deep crust floated over it, which covered the moon tens of killometers down. Infinative meteorites in the Moon's history have crashed into that deep crust and formed mountain ranges. That lunar magma ocean was followed by several asteroids which created basins in the moon, which were wiped out by lava.
Because of the lack of erosion on the moon, the youngest rocks on the moon are just as old as the oldest rocks on the earth. Because of erosion, the old surfaces get repaved over and over, where as on the Moon, the old surfaces stay persistent for several years. Moon rocks range from 3.2-4.6 billion years of age. All moon rocks were created with little or no water at all, there are three types of moon rocks, basalts, anorthosites, and breccias.
Another highly important discovery made from Apollo missions was that the surface of the moon is covered in rubble called lunar regolith, which is a key factor in understanding the Earth's climate change. Solar radiation has given this rubble or lunar regolith very enhanced and unique elements and isotopes. Because of this, we are able to read four billion years back in the sun's history on the moon.
We got an inside scoop on the three heroes better known as Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. How they feel about their mission to the moon, what is in the future for them, and what they are like.
Among the three, Neil Armstrong really stands out, he commanded the gemini 8 mission and became the first man to walk on the moon as commander of Apollo 11. Born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930, he attended Purdue University and earned a bachelors and masters in astronautical science. NASA selected Armstrong as an astronaut in 1962, and him and Dave Scott were launched into space on the Gemini 8 mission. Seven years later him and Aldrin became the first to leave footprints in the lunar dust. Armstrong left NASA in 1971 and became a professor of aeronautical engineering at the University of Cincinnati, where he taught until 1981. He currently is chairman of CTA, Inc.
Buzz Aldrin was apart of Gemini 12 and walked the moon in Apollo 11. Buzz was born Jan. 20, 1930, in Montclair, N.J
he then went on to finish third in his class at U.S. Military academy in 1951. After serving in the air force, Aldrin was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 1963. In 1969, Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins headed into space. Aldrin and Armstrong spent about two hours walking on the moon gathering moon rocks. Aldrin returned to active air force duty in 1971. Buzz recently published his science-fiction novel called " encounter with Tiber."
Michael Collins was apart of Gemini 10 and circled the moon as Aldrin and Armstrong became the first to walk upon the moon. He was born in Rome, Italy, on Oct. 31, 1930, he graduated from the U.S. Military academy in 1952. Collins chose a career in the Air Force until NASA selected Colins as an astronaut in 1963, he then went on to be pilot of the three day Gemini 10 mission. While his flight mates were off on their historic moon walk, Collins was in the moon's orbit for 24 hours as he awaited ALdrin and Armstrongs' return. He retired from the Air Force as a major general and left NASA in 1970. He has written several space books and we are looking forward to more.
These three men have all left NASA, but they remain in our hearts. They were unarguably the best three men for the job, they may be the luckiest men on earth. They were given the oppurtunity of a life time, to walk on another planet's soil.
According to popular belief, the first manned lunar landing in 1969 was all a hoax. These people come up with theories deducted from film footage and photographs taken by the Apollo 11 crew members. However, NASA can come up with a quick response to any of these, as could any body considering all you need is common sense. Besides, it would be much harder just to fake the whole thing then to actually go to the moon and safely land.
One theory public has come up with was an "error" found in the popular film of the two astronauts sticking the american flag into the moon's soil. In this footage you can see the flag rippling and waving, how could this be if there is no breeze on the moon? well, NASA was quick to answer this one, Newton's first law. Since there is no air to stop the flag from waving. An object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest unless a net force acts on it, the net force being air.
Another theory was deducted from photos. Pictures of astronauts sent from the Moon don't include stars in the dark lunar sky. Could this be an error showing it was all fake? no, any photographer could tell you that taking a photo with both a very bright object and a very dim object is no easy task. The other theories are just as simple to prove wrong as this one, for once again all you need is plain old common sense.
There are several other myths that could possibly prove the footage to be faked. Many theories are about the lighting in the footage of the moon. For instance, in a picture with both astronauts, one shadow is considerably larger then the other, and in the dim parts of pictures you can see much more detail then you should be able to and that the footage should be more dim if it were real.
Though several choose to believe in these simple myths, the astronauts and engineers involved in the manned lunar mission deserve to be praised, not joked upon. Some may believe NASA faked the footage just to win the space race, but there are many others that know a race isnt all about winning and the astronauts should be looked at as heroes to us all.
Explorers and Travelers have always had to bring enough food for their mission and have had to preserve it well enough to last. Current space travel requires new and improved methods to keep food edible. Space foods must be lightweight, compact, tasty and nutritious. Each Astronaut will recieve atleast 2500 calories a day from these foods.
Most of the past Apollo food has been freeze dried, a process that will keep the food light and compact. Before being packaged, the food will be pre frozen then sent off into a vaccum. This vaccum will remove all moisture from the food, keeping i light. After the food has been packaged it no longer needs refrigeration, the food is still very tasty and stored with nutrients.
Some of these Apollo foods, the cereal and cookie cubes, for example, may be eaten without preparation. The others must have hot or cold water added through the nozzle at the end of the package. The food is then squeezed into the mouth through the flat tube stored in the package.After the food has been eaten, a small tablet is inserted into the package to kill bacterial growth.
Each astronaut on Apollo 11 had his own foil packaged meal, labeled. In the rare occasion where the space cabin becomes depressurized, the space men would be foreced to live in their space suits. The space suits have an added on feature just for this, the helmets have a small port where the astronaut can eat liquid foods, for in this unlikely occasion they can not eat solid foods.
The food may sound gross, but it isn't as bad as it could be. It was better then nothing and it filled the men with just enough nutrients to last the day, giving them 2500 calories a day.