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Apollo 11

Közzétéve ekkor: 2019. július 11. 07:01

Apollo 11’s legacy

During the Apollo program of the 1960s and ’70s, NASA sent nine missions to the Moon. Six of them landed astronauts safely on the surface, the only times humans have visited another world.

July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969  as part of NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar mission. The United States Mint has revealed the candidate designs for the “heads-side” of its planned coins for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing in 2019.

 

The astronauts

The crew of Apollo 11 were all experienced astronauts who had been to space before.

Cmdr. Neil Armstrong had piloted Gemini 8; that mission was the first time two vehicles docked in space. Born Aug. 5, 1930, in Ohio, Armstrong was 38 when he became the first civilian to command two American space missions.

Col. Edwin Eugene”Buzz” Aldrin, 39, was the first astronaut with a doctorate to fly in space. Born Jan. 20, 1930, in New Jersey, Aldrin piloted Gemini 12 in November 1966, and performed a 140-minute walk in space to demonstrate that an astronaut could work efficiently outside the vehicle. For Apollo 11, he served as the lunar module pilot.

The command module pilot, Lt. Col. Michael Collins, 38, was born in Italy on Oct. 31, 1930. Collins piloted Gemini 10 in July 1966, and spent almost 1.5 hours outside the craft on a spacewalk. 

 

From Earth to the moon

Mission planners at NASA studied the lunar surface for two years, searching for the best place to make the historic landing. They examined the best high-resolution photographs available at the time, from the Lunar Orbiter and Surveyor programs, and considered the number of craters and boulders, cliffs and hills at each prospective landing site, and how easy it would be for the astronauts to land given their fuel and time requirements. This helped the planners narrow down the initial 30 site candidates to three.

Apollo 11 launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:32 a.m. Eastern time on July 16, 1969. While in flight, the crew made two televised broadcasts from the interior of the ship, and a third transmission as they drew closer to the moon, revealing the lunar surface and the intended approach path. On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin entered the lunar module, nicknamed the “Eagle” and separated from the Command Service Module — the “Columbia” — and headed toward the lunar surface.

The lunar module touched down on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility, a large basaltic region, at 4:17 p.m. Eastern time. Armstrong notified Houston with the historic words, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

Armstrong’s first step onto the lunar surface was broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience. He described the event as “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” Apollo 11 effectively ended the Space Race and fulfilled a national goal proposed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy: “before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

 

 

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