Apollo Moon Landings: A Brief History

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Russia had sent the first man into orbit, on 12 April They were killed during a pre-flight test on 27 January , when a fire swept through their command module at Cape Kennedy. During one of six telecasts during the mission, the astronauts said: "Good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth. Further successful tests on Apollo 9 and 10 paved the way for the landmark Apollo 11 mission, which saw Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the surface of the Moon.

Hamilton effectively invented the term "software engineer" with her work developing the Apollo guidance computer, the lifeline for astronauts that controlled the spacecraft. The computer processor on the Apollo 11's lunar module nearly overloaded as the craft neared the moon, which could have forced Armstrong and Aldrin to abort, according to Google, which is honoring Hamilton on the lunar landing anniversary.

Her software put men on the moon. Fifty years later, Margaret Hamilton got a glowing moonlit tribute. But the software cleared all tasks each time it neared overload, allowing the astronauts to enter the landing commands. The software's emergency preparedness is thought to have helped save the mission, Hamilton wrote.


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For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Google unveiled a giant tribute to Hamilton in California's Mojave Desert: More than , mirrors were positioned to reflect moonlight and form her image for one night on the grounds of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world's largest solar thermal power plant. The Apollo 11 crew of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins traveled , miles in 76 hours to reach the moon.


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Collins remained in the spacecraft, Columbia, while Armstrong and Aldrin headed to the lunar surface in the Eagle. As Aldrin and Armstrong approached, Armstrong had to take control and navigate beyond the targeted landing spot. Boulders littered the area, and even though they were running dangerously low on fuel, Armstrong piloted the lander like a helicopter and landed in the perfect spot, all while alarms sounded warnings. When the lunar module landed on the moon, it had less than 40 seconds of fuel left. Years later, Apollo 11 flight dynamics team leader Jerry Bostick asked Armstrong what he would have done if Houston had called for an abort during the landing phase.

Space Race

And he would have done it. That's how much confidence that I and the other people involved had in Neil Armstrong. He could do the impossible," Bostick said. It was this dynamic that earned Armstrong the nickname "Mr. When America seemed divided beyond repair, something great came out of it. After the successful Apollo 11 flight, Collins saw another side of Armstrong as the three astronauts embarked on a trip around the world to talk about their experiences. Armstrong was their spokesman.

The historic moment of Armstrong stepping on the moon roughly six hours later was actually quite blurry as it was seen on TV.

Buzz Aldrin - Moon Landing, Age & Mother - Biography

The shot came from a camera attached to the lander. But what many don't know is that Aldrin was filming Armstrong, too; he captured those monumental steps from above, while inside the lander, looking down the ladder at Armstrong. Apollo fans and experts have long known about this angle. But the public hasn't previously seen it uncut and in high-resolution, a view that expands our knowledge of the mission. It can be seen in the "Apollo 11" film.

Apollo program

And then there are the photos. While the lunar surface looks quite alien up close, some of the most breathtaking images were captured when the astronauts turned the camera back to the view of Earth from space. Photos: The Apollo 11 moon landing, in photos. Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin salutes the American flag on the surface of the moon on July 20, Aldrin was the second man to ever step foot on the lunar surface. The first was Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11's mission commander. Hide Caption. Apollo 11's crew is pictured in May , the month before the launch.

From left are Armstrong, Michael Collins and Aldrin. Collins piloted the command module that orbited the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin spent time on the surface.


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Apollo 11 was launched into space by a Saturn V rocket on July 16, It took the crew 76 hours to travel , miles from the Earth to the moon. The Apollo 11 spacecraft consisted of a command module, Columbia, and a lunar module, Eagle. This photo, taken from the Eagle lunar module, shows the Columbia command module pulling away near the lunar surface. Armstrong works outside the Eagle module shortly after becoming the first man to step foot on the lunar surface.

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There aren't that many photos of Armstrong on the moon. That's because he was the one taking most of the photos. Fans attending a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game cheer after it was announced that the Eagle had made a safe lunar landing on July 20, Armstrong is pictured aboard the Eagle just after the historic moonwalk.

As Armstrong lowered himself to the surface, people watching around the world heard him call it "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Numerous studies have been carried out over the years to discover whether he had indeed uttered that one little sound. Either way, his intention was clear. A view of Earth appears over the lunar horizon as Apollo 11's command module comes into view of the moon.

Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon. He and Armstrong spent a little over two hours collecting rock samples and data near the moon's Sea of Tranquility region.

Apollo 11: Landing on the Moon

They also left behind a plaque signed by all three crew members and President Richard Nixon. The plaque reads: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon, July A. Science News staff took a look at the offerings and picked out a few favorites to help you decide.

Headlines and summaries of the latest Science News articles, delivered Tuesdays and Thursdays. The book offers insights into the personalities of the astronauts, engineers and others who made the U. Getting to the moon demanded a million hours of work for each hour spent in space, this book argues.

Accordingly, the story focuses on the engineers, coders, project managers and others who toiled to get the Apollo program off the ground. Picturing Apollo 11 J. Pickering and John Bisney Univ. Packed with hundreds of photos, some published for the first time, this coffee-table book reads like a photo album of the Apollo 11 mission. The images focus on candid moments from astronaut training, as well as the excitement of liftoff, the historic landing and the return home of the three men.

A space historian takes the Apollo program off its pedestal to examine it from multiple angles: as a cog in the Cold War political machine, an engineering endeavor riddled with as many failures as feats of glory and an iconic cultural moment.