On July 20, 1969, the US sent two men on the surface of the Moon abroad an Apollo 11 spacecraft. The success was the result of the work of almost a decade.
The Saturn V was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, sending into the orbit three astronauts of 38 years of age. The crew was composed of the Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Aldrin.
During the flight to the Moon, one of the astronauts saw flashes of light that did not disappear once he closed his eyes. The scientists later determined them to be cosmic rays.
Apollo 11 is the most documented event in the human history. Each moment had been recorded so that any error would have immediately come to the attention of the entire world. The three astronauts behaved perfectly professionals, even if they were not close friends but somewhat of friendly strangers.
While approaching the Moon, the cosmonauts observed a flashing light with a rhythmic pattern that remained a mystery. The scientists assume it could have been produced by an adapter panel from the upper stage. On the other hand, the UFO supporters still believe that aliens escorted the crew to the Moon.
Aldrin and Armstrong were the two who moved into the Eagle spacecraft and detached from the main ship. Immediately after the separation, the thrusters began to oscillate, and the communication antenna lost contact with Earth. The communication had to be made through the Columbia’s antenna.
Then, the computer alarm started with a 1202 error message. No one from the Mission Control knew what that meant, but soon they managed to figure out that the computer’s memory was overloaded and it started to shut down programs. As the problem was intermittent, the mission continued.
The crew had then to avoid a crash because the Eagle was propelled at a higher speed that planned. Armstrong took the manual control of the ship and managed to surface the Moon.
While trying to find a landing spot, the fuel started to run out. However, the ship landed on the surface. Aldrin confirmed the success of the landing, while Armstrong was still confused and didn’t hear his colleague. The arrival was communicated to the team on Earth.
After a rest period, Armstrong descended the ship and opened the lid of the TV camera that started to transmit on Earth fuzzy images of the first man to step on the surface of the Moon.
During the first walk on the Moon, Armstrong checked the status of the spacecraft and the topography of the land. He also collected a soil sample and then started to take photographs of the lunar landscape.
Aldrin followed him half of an hour later and together with Armstrong installed a solar wind experiment, a seismometer, a laser ranging retroreflector, and the American flag. After the flag had been inserted into the alien land, the two astronauts received a call from President Nixon.
After another second rest period, the two astronauts prepared to launch back to the main ship. The docking had to be controlled by Collins as Armstrong accidentally moved the Eagle too far.
Aldrin managed to walk on the moon for one hour and a half, while Armstrong spent there one extra hour.
Apollo 11 was the first from a series of seven Moon missions, out of which six had been successful. Ironically, the other Moon landings had less public success than the first one, even if they had better transmission quality.
While the instruments installed by Armstrong and Aldrin are still functioning, the scientists back on Earth still did not finish the analysis of the lunar soil. A 2008 analysis revealed that the rocks collected in 1971 made the proof of liquid water on the Moon.
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