Apollo 11

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The Apollo 11 group logo

Apollo 11 was the first flight to send people to the moon. It was done by NASA, the American space group. It went up to space on July 16, 1969, carrying three astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon, while Collins stayed in orbit around the Moon.

The flight was part of the Space Race. It finished the plan set by John F. Kennedy in 1961 to "land a man on the moon, and return him safely to the Earth", before the 1960s ended.

The Flight[change | change source]

Going to and from space[change | change source]

Millions of people around the world viewed the flight of Apollo 11 on television. When the rocket was sent to space it was a world-wide event. Richard Nixon, who was then President, watched the from the White House as the rocket went up. A Saturn V rocket took flight from the Kennedy Space Center in America.

The Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 11's three people into space

About two hours after leaving Earth the bit with the people in it went away from the main rocket. The bit with the people in it had two parts, the Lunar command module called Columbia and the Apollo Lunar Module called Eagle. Columbia was the moon control space ship and Eagle was the moon-landing space ship. 3 days later the team entered Lunar Orbit (orbit around the moon). A day later the Eagle went away from Columbia. The Eagle landed safely on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin inside. During the landing there were several problems with the computer. To land safely Armstrong had to fly the Eagle himself. They landed with only 25 seconds of fuel left.[1]

Events on the moon[change | change source]

The first thing Buzz Aldrin did upon touch down was to pray. He also read some words of Jesus Christ.[2] He did not reveal his plan to do this because someone had just made a lawsuit to stop astronauts from doing religious things in space. Armstrong became the first human to walk and speak on the moon's surface. The first words he said were:

That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind [1]

For the next two and a half hours Aldrin and Armstrong took notes, pictures and made holes to get moon rock. The landings were watched by over six million people on Earth[3] using the very big radio telescope in Australia. They did many experiments like the collecting of moon rocks and dust. An American flag was set up and photographed on the moon.

Neil Armstrong's footprint on the moon's surface.

Leaving the moon and returning to Earth[change | change source]

After finishing their work, Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the Eagle and slept for seven hours before starting to leave. While preparing to leave, Aldrin broke the circuit breaker in the engine starter. Armstrong used a pen to bridge the circuit and stop them from being stuck on the moon. Aldrin and Armstrong left many things on the moon: an American flag, a few experiments and a sign with a message from the human race. The sign read

Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind.

On July 24 the people returned to Earth and were immediately placed into quarantine (kept away from other people), in case they brought back some disease from the moon.

The three people stayed in quarantine for three weeks. When they got out they were heroes around the world. They had dinner with President Nixon, a parade in Mexico City and another one in Washington. The three were also on many television shows.

Photos[change | change source]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/a11.landing.html
  2. Buzz Aldrin, Ken Abraham (2009) "Magnificent Desolation", Random House Publishers, p. 26.
  3. http://www.parkes.atnf.csiro.au/news_events/apollo11/pasa/on_eagles_wings.pdf

Other websites[change | change source]