On this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins became the first men to land on the moon. The length of this trip was approximately 240,000 miles and took about 76 hours one way. The shuttle landed on a flat, darkened area of the moon known as the “Sea of Tranquility.” From Earth, these areas of the moon looked like bodies of water. This mission to the moon is called Apollo 11.
In honor of today being our moon-iversary, how about some fun facts about the landing in 1969?
Did you know?
- The men returned to the landing module to begin their journey back to Earth. They realized the switch to activate the engines had broken. After calling the control center for a solution, they were able to fix the switch with nothing but a ball-point pen.
- The astronauts were placed in quarantine for THREE WEEKS after retuning home. Basically, back then, no one was certain about whether or not the moon’s surface was sterile.
- The landing was broadcasted live across the world. It is estimated that the landing was viewed by about 600 million people.
- The famous words “One small step for man, one giant step for mankind,” said by Neil Armstrong upon first step on the moon, is missing a word. Some linguists say he said the phrase correctly, it was just hard to hear him. He was meant to say, “One small step for a man,” for the statement to make more sense.
- The crew was on the moon’s surface for about 21 hours and 36 minutes, almost a full day. However, the time they spent physically on the moon’s surface was about 2 ½ hours.
It’s been nearly 50 years since we first stepped foot on the moon. We’ve done so much since then. What else will we accomplish in the time to come?