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Space & Astronomy

NASA celebrates Apollo 11's 50th anniversary

By T.K. Randall
July 20, 2019 · Comment icon 12 comments

One small step. Image Credit: NASA
Today marks exactly 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the lunar surface.
When the Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 11 and its crew first took off from the Kennedy Space Center on July 16th, 1969, the whole world watched with bated breath as three men took to the heavens on the most daring mission ever undertaken.

A mere four days later, Neil Armstrong emerged from the lunar lander, descended the ladder on the outside of the spacecraft and left the first ever footprints in the lunar soil as he uttered the immortal words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Neil and Buzz spent just over two hours exploring the lunar surface before retreating to the lander.

Less than 22 hours after arriving on the Moon, the pair lifted off in the Eagle's ascent stage before rendezvousing with Michael Collins in the orbiting command module Columbia.
The three astronauts then returned to the Earth and splashed down in the Pacific on July 24th.

When asked in later life about the legacy of Apollo, Armstrong said:

"The important achievement of Apollo was demonstrating that humanity is not forever chained to this planet and our visions go rather further than that and our opportunities are unlimited."

With NASA currently planning to send humans back to the Moon within the next five years and with a manned mission to Mars also on the horizon, his words have never been so relevant.

Apollo 11 was just the beginning.

Source: BBC News | Comments (12)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by pixiii 5 years ago
I'm halfway through reading this and I had absolutely no idea they had these problems with their gear on the moon!   It would've been so scary!  You just don't realise how dangerous it is/was for these people to go off into space....not knowing if they were going to make it back.  If some alien was going to be there  If creatures were on the moon   You know what I mean!   I thought Buzz's socks were VERY flambuoyant INDEED!   Very scary!  
Comment icon #4 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
It is scary but thankfully Armstrong and Aldrin were resourceful. Apollo 13 had to abort because of damage to the spacecraft and they almost didn't make it back.  Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Ed White died when the Apollo 1 Command Module caught fire and burned at Cape Kennedy during a pre-launch training and they were trapped inside. Because of complications from the fire Apollo 2 and 3 would not be named. Apollo 4, 5 and 6 would be unmanned. Apollo 7 would be the first one carrying astronauts. They tested equipment in Earth orbit. Apollo 8 would be the first to orbit the moon. Waspie wou... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Dumbledore the Awesome 5 years ago
If only it was a campaign to relaunch a program to establish a permanent presence on the Moon as a launching pad for manned exploration of the Solar System.
Comment icon #6 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
Project Artemis is on the books now. It's goal is to return to the moon and then on to Mars. I kind of think that's why there were space shuttles and space stations after Apollo 17. They answered a lot of questions. Can a space craft be reused. Can they dock and supply a space station. How long can a human stay in space and what are the physical effects on the body. Things like that to see how long term space flight would go. Waspie could answer this better than I. This is just my opinion but Artemis is in development.
Comment icon #7 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
I re-quoted you to post this. It's an answer to your question. Wondering what the Space Force may be?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 5 years ago
Apollo and everything about it is fascinating. One has to admire the effort and ability of the people involved around the project.
Comment icon #9 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
NASA is streaming the tapes of the lunar landing on Facebook in real time. This will take about 21 hours if I saw correctly. It may show up on YouTube in some form. The NASA channel is also showing a lot of footage from Apollo 11.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Richie256 5 years ago
Very impressive. I’m really curious where we’ll stand in another 50 years 
Comment icon #11 Posted by Calibeliever 5 years ago
I watched the first one live, sitting on the floor of my parent' living room, being not quite old enough to really get my head around what I was watching. It seemed commonplace back then to believe that this was just the beginning of the human journey to colonizing other planets and creating a technological utopia here on earth. Science and technology were the solution to all the problems mankind had faced over the previous millennia. It was an amazing, magical time to grow up in. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Piney's_Little_Ninja 5 years ago
If that were true, it would the program launching it I presume NASA would need to have some way of creating a reusable space craft.(not counting musk's it's not finished).

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