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Apollo 11: A Detailed Look at the Program

Apollo Eleven was the historic space flight that landed the 1st humans on the moon. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the lunar at surface on July twentieth 1969 at 20:18 Universal Coordinated Time or UTC. Armstrong became the first man to step onto the moon’s dusty surface six hours later on July 21 at two:56 UTC. Whilst spending around two and a half hours outside of the spacecraft, Aldrin and Armstrong collected about forty-seven pounds of lunar surface material to be studied back on earth. The mission’s third member, Michael Collins, did not land on the moons surface with his fellow astronauts. As an alternative he held the extraordinary responsibility of piloting the mission’s command module in lunar orbit. There he awaited the return of his fellow mission members Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Launched by a Saturn V Rocket from Kennedy Space Center at Merritt Island Florida on July sixteenth, Apollo Eleven was NASA’s fifth manned mission as a component of the Apollo moon exploration plan. The Apollo Spacecraft was comprised of 3 specialized modules. The Command Module was a cabin for the 3 astronauts and mission monitoring center led by astronaut Michael Collins. The Service Module was the workhorse of the lunar landing phase of the mission providing thrust, oxygen, electrical energy, and water to the Command Module. Finally the Lunar Module was the Apollo Eleven hardware that really landed on the moon.

After becoming sent toward the moon by the Saturn V rocket’s upper stage, the astronauts separated the spacecraft from the rocket. The astronauts travelled for three extended Earth days before they were able to enter into lunar orbit. Armstrong and Aldrin then moved from the Command Module into the Lunar Module and started their descent to the moon’s foreign surface. The two landing astronauts finally touched down on an region of the moon’s surface identified as the Sea of Tranquility and spent a total of about twenty-one and one half hours there. After that time they departed the moon’s surface by detaching the upper portion of the Lunar Module from its base. They reentered lunar orbit and rejoined Michael Collins in the Command Module. The astronauts then started their return trip to Earth, landing in the Pacific Ocean on July twenty-fourth 1969.

Broadcast on reside television to a worldwide audience, these events successfully ended the space race. Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and all of the Americans who contributed to the Apollo Plan had fulfilled the national objective set in 1961 by president John F. Kennedy. Kennedy had declared, in a speech at Congress, “First, I think that this nation need to commit itself to attaining the objective, just before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”

Apollo Eleven’s Saturn V rocket launched at 13:32 UTC, speeding into an orbit of the Earth. The rocket and spacecraft spent about 12 minutes in orbit, completing a single and a half orbits. At that time the rocket’s third stage propelled the spacecraft onto its final lunar trajectory. About thirty minutes later, the Command Module and Service Module pair separated from the Saturn’s final stage and docked with the Lunar Module, extracting it from the lunar adaptor. Ultimately, the three modules headed for the moon. Upon the Lunar Module’s final descent, Armstrong looked outside and saw that the flight computer’s landing target was in a boulder-strewn location, just slightly north and east of a three hundred meter diameter crater. Taking semi-automatic control, Armstrong listened as Aldrin referred to as out velocity and altitude data. The pair successfully landed the craft at 20:17 UTC on July twentieth, with about twenty-5 seconds worth of fuel to spare.

Right after far more than twenty-one and a half total hours on the lunar surface, the astronauts had left behind numerous scientific instruments such as a retro reflector array employed for the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiments and a passive seismic experiment package utilized to measure moon quakes. The astronauts also left behind many mementos from Earth to commemorate their historic achievements on the moon’s surface. The tokens left behind integrated a specially designed American flag, an Apollo One mission patch, a golden replica of an olive branch, traditionally representing peace, and a disc containing very good will messages from several American Presidents and leaders of over 73 nations about the planet.

On July twenty-fourth, the astronauts returned property aboard the Command Module named Columbia. Just before dawn, 16:51 UTC, in the Pacific Ocean about 1440 nautical miles east of Wake Island and 210 nautical miles south of Johnston Atoll. The Command Module splashed down thirteen nautical miles from the recovery ship, the U.S.S. Hornet. At 16:44 UTC the module’s drogue parachutes had been deployed, this was seven minutes prior to the module touched the water. During its reentry and splashdown, the Command Module had ended up upside down. However, floatation bags trigger by the astronauts righted the craft inside ten minutes.

In order to abide by the then not too long ago passed Extraterrestrial Exposure Law, the astronauts were quickly placed into quarantine. Despite the fact that NASA believed it was unlikely for pathogens to exist on the moon’s surface, it was regarded a possibility. The astronauts had been mandated to stay in quarantine for virtually 3 weeks. Right after getting provided a clean bill of well being, all three astronauts have been released from quarantine on August tenth 1969.

Following their release from quarantine, the astronauts participated in parades in several significant cities and attended a state dinner with members of congress, forty-4 governors, the Chief Justice of the United States, and ambassadors from eighty-3 nations.
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