Apollo 11 Moon Mission | 10 Amazing Facts about the Apollo 11 Moon Mission – It has been fifty years since man accomplished a feat that had up until then only been dreamt of. The Apollo 11 Moon Mission was one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by mankind to date. This Apollo 11 Moon Mission was aimed at a manned lunar landing and Neil Armstrong became the first human being to ever set foot on the surface of the moon.
The leap that mankind took on that day became a landmark event leading to several pop culture references, apart from having a huge scientific significance. But there are so many other trivia that are not so popular besides the landing itself.
Apollo 11 Moon Mission :- Listed below are 10 such amazing facts about the Apollo 11 mission that you should know:
1. On the mission, Armstrong carried a piece of an airplane flown by the Wright brothers
The Wright brothers flew the first-ever airplane in 1906, exactly 66 years before the Apollo 11 mission. In order to symbolize the progress that mankind had made in aviation, Neil Armstrong carried a small wooden piece of an airplane belonging to the Wright brothers on the mission. Interestingly, both Neil and the Wright brothers hailed from the state of Ohio, USA.
2. Armstrong spent one full day (almost) on the surface of the moon
The total amount of time that Armstrong and his fellow astronaut, Buzz Aldrin spent on the surface of the moon was 21 hours and 36 minutes. This was almost a full day, falling short of about a couple of hours. They carried out many experiments and set up the pieces of equipment involved.
3. The astronauts left human memorabilia on the surface of the moon
The Apollo 11 mission was not just a feat accomplished by a single government. It had a certain global significance that simply cannot be overlooked. To commemorate it, the astronauts left several photographs of human beings and audio recordings in several different languages on the moon’s surface. Medallions bearing the names of astronauts who previously died on failed launch attempts were also kept.
4. Three astronauts went to the moon, only two stepped on it
The Apollo 11 spacecraft that set off heading towards the moon carried three astronauts. While landing on the moon, one module of this spacecraft orbited the moon and was being piloted by the third astronaut, Michael Collins. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were on the other module which landed on the moon.
5. The mission failure speech was already in place
At the time, the success rate of the Apollo 11 mission was highly speculative. No one had ever landed on the moon and had then successfully returned. So chances of this mission being a disaster were quite high and contingency plans were already in place. The then-President Richard Nixon had a speech ready to be delivered as soon as there was any news of a tragedy. Fortunately, this speech never had to be used.
6. When they landed, their fuel was 25 seconds away from being exhausted
The entire Apollo 11 mission was meticulously planned. The landing site on earth was carefully chosen too, but upon nearing landing, the astronauts realized that it could be dangerous. The site had many boulders and could damage the spacecraft severely while the astronauts were still inside.
Neil Armstrong manually navigated the probe to find a clearing safe for landing. As this feat used up more fuel than was planned, there was a chance that they would have exhausted it even before they touched the earth’s surface. This would have automatically aborted the landing. But luckily, they landed just in time, with only 25 seconds left before the fuel reached a point of no return.
7. Upon return to earth, the astronauts were quarantined for 21 days
It was unknown if the moon had any life form on it or not. There was thus danger of the astronauts carrying micro-organisms into the earth’s atmosphere which could cause contamination. Thus, after landing, the astronauts were housed in a quarantine facility for 21 days. Tests and studies later confirmed that the moon was completely devoid of life.
8. The astronauts signed customs forms
When the astronauts returned to earth, they were required to sign custom forms, just like one would do while returning from a foreign vacation. The astronauts also “declared” that they were carrying samples of rocks and dust from the moon.
9. Armstrong’s famous quote was disputed
Who doesn’t know the famous quote by Neil Armstrong as he stepped on the moon’s surface? “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” is so popular that any dispute surrounding it is immediately scoffed at. However, did you know that Armstrong himself disputed this quote?
He claimed that what he had said was that “that’s one small step for ‘a’ man, one giant leap for mankind.” The‘a’ signified that he was referring to himself and not talking figuratively. After confirmations by linguists, this quote is now officially represented with an added ‘a’ in parentheses.
10. The landing was viewed on television by almost 600 million viewers
The Apollo 11 mission was a record-breaking event, with widespread public speculation and global media coverage. The event itself was televised live. In the USA alone, about 53 million viewers watched the mission on television. Globally, the viewership reached another 550 million—a world record in itself.