It has been over fifty years since the first moon landing.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong surprised the world by dropping a ladder onto the moon’s surface and making his way down. Landing on the moon was a feat that marked a changing of the times.
Let us explore 10 facts about moon travel.
1. It Took Four Days Of Travel To Reach The Moon
The first moon travel took approximately four days and seven hours in the Apollo 11 Saturn V, which took off from the Kennedy Space Centre in the early hours of 16th of July 1969.
2. Guidance Computer Problems Before Landing
The astronauts faced a dilemma in the form of several alarms going off just before the scheduled landing. The alarms resulted from ‘executive overflows’, which meant that the guidance computer could not complete all the tasks fed into the system. After getting clearance from technicians back on Earth, Apollo 11 continued its descent onto the moon’s surface.
3. Radio Communication Problems Before Landing
The astronauts faced a radio communication problem when the lunar module lost complete communication with mission control. The radio silence almost led to the mission being aborted, despite efforts made by ground control to fix the problem and Aldrin working on getting the antenna working.
4. Landing Occurred at a Different Site Than Planned
The moon’s gravity coupled with the unadjusted speed of the Apollo 11 led to an unplanned landing onto rough terrain some four miles away from the destination.
Armstrong and Aldrin found a way to land safely by navigating around huge craters that impeded their path.
5. Armstrong Had To Land Within a Minute
With fuel supplies running low and the new destination being farther away than planned, Armstrong had to find a way to safely land the Apollo 11 within sixty seconds, almost resulting in mission failure.
6. The Module Stayed on The Moon For 21 Hours
Of the 21 hours spent on the moon, Armstrong and Aldrin spent 2.5 hours collecting samples and data, conducting experiments, and taking pictures. The United States flag was also erected on the moon’s surface, which was difficult due to the hard surface of the moon.
Michael Collins was piloting the module as his co-pilots were off exploring, and with each orbit, he experienced 48 minutes of radio silence with ground control.
7. 650 Million People Tuned in to The Incident of Moon Travel
Broadcasting stations estimated that around 650 million people from across the world tuned in to the moon’s landing, one of the most historical events since time immemorial.
The landing helped boost the country’s morale and induced feelings of national pride, which were a sigh of relief because they took attention away from the years of unrest due to the tension caused by the Cold War.
8. The United States is Responsible For 6 Moon Landings
NASA has been responsible for 6 missions of moon travel from 1969 to 1972. Since then, no other crew has landed on the moon due to the heavy costs incurred, estimated to be around 25.4 billion USD for the Apollo program.
Other countries like China and Russia have sent probes and vehicles onto the moon’s surface but have not successfully sent their crews.
9. Conspiracy Theories Still Dictate That The Moon’s Landing Was Faked
With many conspiracy groups like the anti-vaxxers, 9/11 theorists, and Flat Earthers, another group emerged that claimed the moon’s landing was faked.
Bill Kaysing in 1979 came out with a pamphlet titled ‘We Never Went To The Moon: America’s 30 Billion-Dollar Swindle’. This group grew in popularity as more and more people bought into the message, despite clear-cut evidence indicating otherwise.
10. The Soviets Tried to Get to The Moon First
The Soviets had planned to reach the moon first in an attempt to display dominance, but once NASA completed their mission, they sought to cover up their tracks and kept their efforts hidden.
A journalist called Yaroslav Golovanov wrote that it was in Russia’s best interests to assume an air of secrecy so that it wouldn’t become clear that the United States has overtaken them.
The facts about moon travel make it clear that it was one of the most significant feats in human history and marked the beginning of rapid technological advancement, which was a great leap for humanity as a whole.
Some programs seek to make moon tourism possible and have even planned for faster travels and the possibility of playing sports in space.
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