It was a feat for the ages. Just seven years before, a young president had challenged the state to land a person on the moon—not because it had been “easy,” as John F. Kennedy said in 1962, but because it had been “hard.” By July 20, 1969, Armstrong backed down a ladder and onto the moon’s surface.

Along the thanks to achieving JFK’s vision, there was much diligence, drama, and surprise. Here are some lesser-known moments throughout the epic U.S. effort to succeed in the moon.


1. Moon dirt smells.

A big question facing the NASA team planning the Apollo 11 moon landing was what would the moon’s surface be like—would the lander’s legs land on firm ground, or sink into something soft? The surface clothed to be solid, but the important surprise was that the moon had a smell.

Moon soil is extremely clingy and hard to ignore, so when Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the lunar excursion module and repressurized it, lunar dirt that had clung to the men’s suits entered the cabin and commenced to emit an odor. The astronauts reported that it had a burned smell like wet fireplace ashes, or just like the air after a fireworks show.

Scientists would never get the prospect to research just what the crew was smelling.

The moon soil and rock samples were sent to labs in sealed containers, once the pack was open on earth.smell  has gone

Somehow, as Charles Fishman, author of 1 Giant Leap, says, “The smell of the moon remained on the moon.”


2. JFK was more focused on beating the Soviets than in space.

In public, President John F. Kennedy had boldly pledged that the us would “set sail on this new sea because there’s new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and that they must be won and used for the progress of all people.”

But secret tapes of Kennedy’s discussions would later reveal that privately, JFK was less curious about space exploration than in one-upping the Soviets.

In a 1962 meeting with advisors and NASA administrators, JFK confessed, “I’m not that curious about space.” But he was curious about winning the conflict. Just months after JFK’s inauguration, the Soviet Union had sent the primary man into space. Kennedy asked his vice-chairman, Lyndon B. Johnson, how the U.S. could score a win against the Soviets.

One of the simplest ways to point out U.S. dominance, Johnson reported back, was by sending a manned mission to the moon. Johnson, in fact, had long been an area advocate, saying in 1958, “Control of space is control of the planet .”

3. The Soviets covered up their efforts to urge to the moon first.

It seems that the us wasn’t alone in eagerness to demonstrate its dominance by landing humans on the moon. The Soviet Union was also gunning to accomplish the feat. But once U.S. astronauts got there first, the Soviets tried to stay their efforts on the down-low.

4. Astronauts trained for microgravity by walking “sideways.”

How does one prepare to send someone to an area nobody has ever gone before? For NASA within the 1960s, the solution was to make simulations that mimicked aspects of what astronauts could expect to encounter.

Armstrong and Aldrin rehearsed collecting samples on fake, indoor moonscapes. Armstrong practiced beginning and landing within the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle in Houston. And, to simulate walking within the moon’s lower-gravity atmosphere, astronauts were suspended sideways by straps then walked along a tilted wall.

NASA and therefore the U.S. Geological Survey even blasted out craters at Cinder Lake, Arizona to make a landscape that matched a part of the moon’s surface—because, after all, practice makes perfect

5. Civil Rights activists got a front-row seat to the Apollo 11 launch.

Not everyone was gung-ho about the U.S. effort to land people on the moon. a couple of days before the scheduled launch of Apollo 11, a gaggle of activists, led by civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy, arrived outside the gates of the Kennedy Space Center. They brought with them two mules and a wooden wagon for instance the contrast between the gleaming white Saturn V rocket and families who couldn’t afford food or an honest place to measure.

Amid the heady build-up to the launch, the NASA administrator, Paine, came bent ask the protestors, face-to-face. After Paine and Abernathy talked for a short time under lightly falling rain, Paine said he hoped Abernathy would “hitch his wagons to our rocket, using the program as a spur to the state to tackle problems boldly in other areas, and using NASA’s space successes as a yardstick by which progress in other areas should be measured.”

Paine then arranged to possess members of the group to attend the subsequent day’s launch from a VIP viewing area. Abernathy prayed for the security of the astronauts and said he was as proud as anyone at the accomplishment.

6. Buzz Aldrin took communion on the moon.

When Apollo 11‘s Eagle lunar excursion module landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, astronauts Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to attend before venturing outside. Their mission ordered them to require an interruption before the large event.

So Aldrin used a number of the time doing something unexpected, something no man had ever attempted before. Alone and overwhelmed by anticipation, he took part within the first Christian sacrament ever performed on the moon—a rite of Christian communion.

7. Scientists have scared about space germs infecting Earth.

Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collin risk their lives for the advancement of humanity

They had the dubious pleasure of being quarantined for planetary protection.

Since humans had never been to the moon before,

NASA scientists couldn’t make certain that some deadly space-borne plague hadn’t hitched a ride on the astronauts.

The trio was transferred to a mobile quarantine facility on July 24,

when the re-enter to down to pacific

They were transported to NASA Lunar Receiving Laboratory at Johnson Space Center

To access a bigger quarantine facility until their release on August 10, 1969.

8. Nixon was anxious the mission could fail.

While Kennedy had rallied the state to land a person on the moon,

he was assassinated before he could see the Apollo mission achieve his vision.

That nerve-racking honor fell to President Nixon, who had been elected in 1968.

His staff had prepared a press release to be read within the event

the worst happened and arranged a priest to commit their souls to the deep, very similar to a burial stumped.

He didn’t. the lads who had traveled quite 200,000 miles to the moon

then stepped foot on an alien world had survived.

therefore the us would continue to finish six crewed missions

that landed a complete of 12 astronauts on the moon from 1969 to 1972.


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