Apollo 11; Man on The Moon

Nikolas Bogle

     You may have recently heard that NASA launched a rocket to the moon for the first time in over 60 years called the Artemis SLS. Its mission is to prepare us for our permanent residence on the Moon. While this may not sound important, it will act as a catalyst for eventually turning mankind into an interplanetary species. You may have also heard of Apollo 11, the first successful attempt at landing humans on the Moon. This was one of the most revolutionary moments in human history and will pave the way for future generations to explore the stars. This is how it happened.

 

Artemis I orbit and flight path to the Moon and back.

 

     Apollo 11 was the first space flight in history to send people to the moon. It was fully funded and supported by NASA carrying 3 astronauts. Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, and most well-known, Neil Armstrong. It was launched on July 16th, 1969 taking around 3 ½ days to finish the flight. And on the morning of July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the lunar surface in the Eagle lander module. At 10:56 EDT Neil Armstrong stepped down on the lunar soil and stated some of the most powerful words in human history, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” This was all part of the Space Race during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. It succeeded President John F. Kennedy’s plan to land bring men to the moon and bring them safely back before the end of the 1960s.

 

Aldrin salutes the American Flag planted on the Moon.

 

     The true story about how all this happened is the unknown bit. Most people know about the moon landing, but most people don’t know what actually happened and how it operated. The rocket used for the mission is known as the Saturn V. The Saturn was and still is one of the most heavy-duty and powerful rockets. It consisted mainly of three stages. The first stage was a powerful liquid oxygen engine that helped it get off the launchpad and out of the atmosphere. The second stage was a liquid oxygen and hydrogen combination engine which allowed the rocket to get into orbit. The third and final stage also used liquid hydrogen and oxygen but it held the moon landing module and helped it get into lunar orbit. Once in orbit, the remaining part of the rocket would slow itself down. The lunar module would then detach, leaving the rest of the rocket in orbit for later use. The module would then land and allow the crew to make history and perform science experiments. Once they were finished, they got back in the lander, got back into orbit, and were attached back to the rocket. They then abandoned the lander to never be seen again. Once back in the earth’s atmosphere, they detached the rocket to burn up in the atmosphere and let the crew and lunar module land safely in the ocean.

 

Saturn V Rocket launching.

 

      Since then we have made some of the most revolutionary discoveries and massive leaps in technological advancements toward space. And maybe one day, we will even touch down on the moon of another planet, in a whole other solar system. And it will all begin with one step.