National Moon Day celebrates the single greatest technological achievement of all time. On the 20th of July 1969, Apollo 11 carried the first humans to the moon. American Commander Neil Armstrong, Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins were watched by millions across the world.
Six hours after landing on the moon, Neil Armstrong became the first man to step onto the lunar surface, shortly joined by NASA’s Buzz Aldrin. It was then that the most famous quote of all time, space and otherwise occurred “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.
Over the next three and a half years, 10 astronauts followed in their footsteps. Gene Cernan, commander of the last Apollo mission leaves the lunar surface with the following words “We leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace, and hope for all mankind”, although not as catchy and memorable as Armstrong’s unquestionable first words, but nevertheless as important for humanity and learning more about our solar system and moon.
So what are the most memorable events to occur during Apollo 11’s mission to the moon?
Did you Know?
The One Small Step For Man Was Actually A 3 & A Half Feet Drop
Neil Armstrongs famous speech ‘one small step for man’ was actually not as small as you think. Armstrong had to drop around 3 ½ feet from the foot of the Eagles ladder to the surface.
Astronauts Could Have Been Locked Out
When Buzz Aldrin joined Neil Armstrong on the moon’s surface, Aldrin had to make sure not to fully close the Eagles hatch. Closing the hatch fully may have resulted in cabin repressurising making it difficult to re-enter.
Neil Armstrong Was The First To Land On The Moon, But He Did Not Wear His Watch
Although Apollo 11’s commander Neil Armstrong was first to set foot on the moon, he left his 105.012 Speedmaster inside the lunar module. Due to the LM’s electronic timer having malfunctioned, it was, therefore, Buzz Aldrin’s Speedmaster to become the first watch to be worn on the moon.
People Still Believe That The Apollo 11 Did Not Land On The Moon
Conspiracies have always played a huge part in the press of Apollo 11’s mission. With 5% of people strongly believe that the moon landing was faked. According to a study by physicist David Robert Grimes, if the moon landing was faked, over 411,000 people will have been in on the hoax and at least 1 person would have leaked the conspiracy within at least 3 years.
Items Left Behind Were Crucial In Order To Take Off And Return Home
Between the first moon landing in 1969 and the last in 1972 astronauts had to leave behind many heavy items, such as rovers, astronaut boots, a gold replica of an olive brand and a whole lot of footprints.
NASA Now Invest A Further $95 Million Dollars For Apollo Missions
Since the first Apollo 11 mission, NASA invested a further $95 million dollars into the program to increase safety measures and procedures as well as mechanisms to prevent any further accidents.
Quarantine was permitted to ensure astronauts were not contaminated.
Upon returning to Earth, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were instructed to quarantine for 2 weeks in case they were contaminated with dangerous pathogens.