This day in history


On this day,July 20,1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon.Launched from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A,on July 16,1968 a powerful Saturn V rocket carrying Neil Armstrong,Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin on a 195hr,38min,21sec adventure to “Perform a manned lunar landing and return”.At 4:17:40 p.m. EDT July 20,1969 Lunar module named “Eagle” officially landed at the designated site “Mare Tranquilitatis or Sea of Tranquility”.

Apollo11 landing site

Immediately after landing on the Moon, Armstrong and Aldrin prepared the LM for liftoff as a contingency measure. Following the meal, a scheduled sleep period was postponed at the astronauts’ request, and the astronauts began preparations for descent to the lunar surface.After almost 6.5 hours on the surface,Astronaut Armstrong emerged from the spacecraft first. While descending, he released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA) on which the surface television camera was stowed, and the camera recorded humankind’s first step on the Moon.After uttering these famous words “This is one small step for man (static) one giant leap for mankind”,Neil Armstrong took his first step on the lunar surface shortly followed by Buzz Adldrin.Before any exploration would begin,a sample of lunar surface material was collected and stowed to assure that, if a contingency required an early end to the planned surface activities, samples of lunar surface material would be returned to Earth.
The astronauts carried out the planned sequence of activities that included deployment of a Solar Wind Composition (SWC) experiment, collection of a larger sample of lunar material, panoramic photographs of the region near the landing site and the lunar horizon, closeup photographs of in place lunar surface material, deployment of a Laser-Ranging Retroreflector (LRRR) and a Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP), and collection of two core-tube samples of the lunar surface.Before the departure of the lunar surface,the astronauts left a plaque signed by then president Richard Nixon,Neil Armstrong,Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins with the inscription”HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH
FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON
JULY 1969 A.D.
WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND”.
Approximately 2.25hrs after descending to the surface, the astronauts began preparations to reenter the LM, after which the astronauts slept. The ascent from the lunar surface to the command module began 21 hours and 36 minutes after the lunar landing.Finally,after more than 195 hours and approximately 480,000 miles,the command module entered the Earths atmosphehere and touched down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24,1969 and were picked up by the USS Hornet.
subsequently,the newly famous astronauts were held in quarantine in case they brought back space germs!.
Information courtesy of the Smithsonian National Space and Air Museum

Image credit:Andrew

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2 Responses to “This day in history”

  1. Nice moon shot Andrew and great info. I remember watching the TV non stop during that time. I was in Louisiana for summer vacation,(junior high). We were allowed to stay up as long as we wanted. I even have pics I took off the TV and cassette tape recordings. I’m happy NASA has decided to return to the moon after all this time.

  2. Thanks Michael,
    The photo was taken last year (early spring) and was slightly over sharpened in PS.To be honest,I think that we should have continued the missions to the moon but unfortunately,it was more about beating Russia to the moon rather than the science aspect.Junior high?.I was just a youngster at the time (first grade) and don’t remember the flight,not that I would have understood what was going on and the historic value.I do remember Apollo12 hmmmmm or was it 13?.At any rate,I was sitting in the classroom and the teacher wheeled in a television so we could watch the happenings.Having a Tv wheeled into the classroom was a novelty in it’s self as I thought that my family were the only ones who had a Television.
    How times have changed!.
    Andrew

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