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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Apollo 11 space mission: Rarely known facts that can make our jaw drop

Apollo 11 Mission: Today is 50th anniversary of moon landing. There is growing interest to understand the galaxy in the space research industry. One of the matter of interest has been the moon. We are well aware Commander Neil Armstrong was the first person to step onto the lunar surface on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. But do we know, which vehicle (Space Craft) took him and his team to moon and safely landed on the moon. It was Apollo 11. Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon.

Apollo 11 space mission

Source: Nasa

Here are some of the rarely known facts about Apollo 11 mission
  • 1. Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center on Meritt Island, Florida on July 16 at 13:32 UTC.
  • 2. It was fifth crewed mission (Nasa's Apollo program).
  • 3. The spacecraft has three sections: Command Module, Service Module and Lunar Module.
  • 4. After reaching into Space, the astronauts separated the space craft from Saturn V rocket and travelled for three days until they entered lunar orbit.
  • 5. Then, they landed in the Sea of Tranquility. (A place on Moon which is safe for landing)
  • 6. Armstrong was the first human who stepped on the Moon surface after 6 hours 39 minutes of landing.
  • 7. Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later.
  • 8. They collected 21.5 KG of lunar material to bring back to Earth.
  • 9. Command module pilot Michael Collins flew the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon's surface.
  • 10. Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours 31 minutes on the lunar surface at a site they named Tranquility Base before lifting off to rejoin Columbia in lunar orbit.
  • 11. They returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24 after more than eight days in space.
  • 12. Armstrong's first step onto the lunar surface was broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience.

Prior to Apollo 11 Mission

Apollo 1 command module caught fire and three astronauts Roger Chaffee, Ed White and Virgil "Gus" Grissom died in the blaze on January 27, 1967. Nasa redesigned the hatch and enacted other safety measures.
Neil Armstrong was practising lunar landing research vehicle (Aircraft meant to simulate a moon landing) on May 6, 1968, and propellant leakage resulted in a total failure of the flight controls. Armstrong ejected himself and parachuted down just 9 meters about the ground and the lunar lander exploded. He was nearly died just a year before they 1969 launch.

Fuel Shortage Story

There is famous story of Apollo 11 has fuel sortage during this mission. Fuel sortage clearly means the failure of the mission. The fact is like this. A slight delay caused Apollo 11 to miss the spot - sea of tranquility on the moon which was safe place to land. Neil Armstrong realised their spaceflight is about to land on a place filled with craters and boulders. So he manually controlled the spaceflight and steered to the predecided place (sea of tranquility) and landed safely. This extra manual control consumed more fuel. There was shortage of fuel but enough to return back to the lunar space orbitting around the moon.