Today is The 47th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Lunar Landing!

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From left to right, Commander and first man to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and (LEM) Pilot “Buzz” Aldrin

At 9:32 AM, EDT on this date forty seven years ago, humanity finally came of age, venturing off our home world, home to all life that we know of since the dawn of recorded history, for a thousand millennia. I was 14 on this date back in 1969 and I remember it as though it was yesterday, watching the NASA feed, the inverted LEM or the moon’s surface, passing beneath the Command Module piloted by Michael Collins. It has been said, and quite accurately so, that for the 21 hours his two companions were exploring the lunar surface below, Michael Collins was the most alone person in the universe, being completely cut off from human contact on Earth. It should also be noted that the famous mission patch and insignia Apollo_11_insignia was designed by Commander Collins.  Although Neil Armstrong is gone his legacy endures and history will remember him fondly as the man who uttered these famous words

Apollo_11_bootprint“one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”

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On that day we made an indelible mark on history, a new day dawned and humanity is forever changed. The three member mission crew consisted of Neil Armstrong, Mission Commander and Captain, Buzz Aldrin, Lunar Module pilot and second person to walk on the moon and Michael Collins, Command Module pilot.

Of the three crew members, two survive to this day, Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., 86 and Michael Collins, age 85. Mission commander and first person to step foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong, passed away on August 25, 2012 at the age of 82. In a rare interview he gave to the news program Sixty Minutes in 2005, he described the lunar surface to the program’s host Ed Bradley

It’s a brilliant surface in that sunlight. The horizon seems quite close to you because the curvature is so much more pronounced than here on earth. It’s an interesting place to be. I recommend it.

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SaturnV_Liftoff_94-202-8hThe Saturn V rocket, the launch vehicle that sent the three brave astronauts to the moon, thus fulfilling President Kennedy’s commitment to put a man on the moon within the decade, is still the most powerful machine ever built. Each one of the five F-1 main, first-stage engines consumes 4 tons of fuel per second delivering 1.5 million pounds of thrust at peak output for a combined first-stage output of 7.5 million pounds of thrust, hurling the giant, “skyscraper” scale rocket to supersonic speeds within one minute. At first-stage separation at an altitude of 65 Km (40 mi), the vehicle was traveling at Mach 7.0 (seven times the speed of sound)!


Iconic image of Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface by Neil Armstrong
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With the Earth in the distance, Buzz Aldrin descending the LEM ladder to become the Second Human Being to set foot on the lunar surface

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All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike-and yet it is the most precious thing we have

An index of all articles in this blog can be found here.

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