It has been a full 50 years that human being first stepped foot on the moon. And half a century later, scientists at NASA are gearing up to do it again.
Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were the first men on the moon. With Neil Armstrong putting down the first human footprint on the surface of the moon.
Upon landing, he declared “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” But it sure wasn’t a small step because he had to jump 3.5 ft. From the lunar module.
On July 20, 1969, people watched as commander Neil Armstrong and the lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on the surface of the moon.
Apollo 11 mission was a historic event with about 650 million viewers worldwide.
And to celebrate 50 years of the first man on the moon, the Apollo 11 mission, or the first moon landing, here are 7 interesting facts.
The Women Behind the Apollo 11 Mission.
While the whole world witnessed two men stepping outside of the lunar module and set their first step, there were a few women who played a major role in making it possible.
Katherine Johnson, a NASA research mathematician, was the woman who wrote the calculations for the Apollo 11 trajectory to the moon.
Joann Morgan was the only woman inside the firing roo, for the launch of the Saturn V rocket. She was responsible for listening to communications for any problems.
Other “hidden figures” of the Apollo 11 mission were Susan Finley who performed trajectory computations for rocket launches by hand.
And Margaret Hamilton who was the lead Apollo flight software designer.
The Number of People Required.
Creating history takes a lot of effort.
While the whole world celebrates Neil Armstrong for being the first man to set foot on the moon, the forget the people involved behind the scene.
For starters Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins also accompanied Armstrong in the historic event.
For the entire mission, the Apollo program needed the skills and expertise of approximately 400,000 scientists, engineers, and technicians combined.
The Smell of the Moondust.
The moment the astronauts got back inside the Lunar Module after stepping on the moon surface, they were able to smell the strong odor of the moon dust.
The astronauts could compare the smell of the moon dust to that of gun powder.
According to Neil Armstrong, moondust had a scent similar to “wet ashes in a fireplace”.
A Pen Helped in the Lunar Ascent.
There were so many moments and situations that could’ve made Apollo 11 mission a failure.
One of which was Buzz Aldrin accidentally damaging a crucial circuit breaker. This happened while he was moving about the cabin.
But, thanks to Neil Armstrong’s quick and innovative thinking the mission became a success.
He used a felt-tipped pen to activate the broken circuit breaker and saved the day.
The Suit Making Competition.
As historic as the moon landing itself was, the creation of the astronaut’s suit was also a difficult and controversial task.
For the making of the suit suitable of the lunar ascent, NASA approached the International Latex Corporation (ILC) alongside the aerospace company Hamilton Standard.
Cautious about the move, Hamilton Standard designed their own suit and submitted to NASA. Unfortunately, the suit got rejected.
Hamilton Standard then went ahead and blamed ILC for the whole thing resulting in losing the contract.
A few years later, however, NASA announced a competition for a new suit.
Few of the retired ILC employees took this as an opportunity, broke into their old office, stole their original design, made some important changed and submitted it to NASA.
ILC was chosen as the winner and ironically Hamilton Standard was chosen to provide the oxygen tanks for the suit.
Not Fake News.
Conspiracy theories have been going around for as long as the news of the first man on the moon.
Even though 650 million people viewed it and there is plenty of evidence suggesting that men did go to the moon, there are people till date calling it fake news.
But according to David Robert Grimes, Ph.D., from the University of Oxford and the entire panel scientists, technicians, and engineers think otherwise.
Grimes developed a mathematical model in 2015 determining that if the moon landing was indeed fake news, an estimated 411,000 people would’ve been in on the hoax.
And within 3 years and 8 months, at least one person would have leaked the conspiracy.
An Inspiration for Inventions.
The Apollo 11 mission was one-of-it’s-kind historic moment for the entire mankind.
It pushed and inspired many more expeditions to the moon and outer space. We can easily say it changed the course of history and how people viewed space.
But the Apollo 11 didn’t just inspire and influence future space missions.
Apollo engineering also inspired a lot of products and technologies.
Things like Dustbuster cordless vacuums, anti-fog ski goggles, freeze-dried backpacking meals, studless winter tires, and Nike Air running shoes actually made our day-to-day life easier.