Facts about Apollo 11

January 11, 2017
Armstrong was the first to

Neil ArmstrongThe moment when man first walked on the Moon was watched by half a billion people and was arguably one of the most significant events in human history. Here we reveal 10 surprising facts about the most famous of space missions Apollo 11...

  • There is only one blurry direct photograph of Neil Armstrong actually on the Moon. All the famous shots are of his fellow spaceman Buzz Aldrin. Mr Aldrin denied speculation that this was because of 'sour grapes' over coming second. He said he had intended to take some shots after the flag planting but they then received an unexpected phone call from Richard Nixon.
  • Buzz Aldrin's father, Edwin Aldrin, was a good friend of Orville Wright - one of the famous brothers who built and flew the world's first airplane.

Neil Armstrong is visible on the right. This is the only direct shot of him on the lunar surface despite being the first man on the Moon

  • The Command Module pilot Michael Collins had been originally slated to pilot Apollo 8. However he was replaced by Jim Lovell (played by Tom Hanks in the film Apollo 13) after he had surgery on his back. He took what would have been Lovell's spot on Apollo 11.
  • Buzz Aldrin was a firm Presbyterian Christian and had communion on the Moon. However it was kept secret from the public as Nasa was fighting a lawsuit by atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair who objected to the Apollo 8 crew reading from the Book of Genesis. Aldrin's communion kit was prepared by the pastor of his church.
  • Apollo 11 though a success was not a completely smooth mission. When landing the Eagle, Armstrong had to navigate over an unexpected boulder field, landing the craft with just 20 seconds left of fuel. The astronauts also had to use a biro to replace the re-ignition switch to send them back into space after Aldrin accidentally broke it.

Buzz AldrinApollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins (r) had been due to fly in Apollo 8, until a bad back caused a reshuffle that meant astronaut Jim Lovell never stepped on the Moon

  • Armstrong took the first steps on the Moon but Aldrin was the first to pee there. He took a lunar leak into a special bag within his suit.
  • The pair left behind a retroreflector array which is still used by scientists today to measure the distance between our planet and the Moon. Every day laser beams are shot towards the Moon from the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. Some of these are reflected back by the array and the distance can be calculated by the time this takes.
  • Buzz left a small gold olive branch on the Moon, along with an Apollo 1 patch and two Russian cosmonaut medallions to honour those that were killed during the space race. He almost forget to leave them until Armstrong reminded him and he unceremoniously dumped them on his way back into the command module. The pair also left their moon boots and urine bags on the lunar surface.
  • The American flag they placed near the Command Module was blown over by the downdraft when they launched back into space, according to Buzz Aldrin. In future Apollo missions flags were placed a good distance away.
  • Buzz, Neil and Michael suffered from excessive and 'fragrant' flatulence caused by hydrogen bubbles in their water.

Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot Neil Armstrong and command module pilot Michael Collins by their command module. It was said to smell quite fruity after the trip

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk
Apollo 11 Facts Project: Pre-Launch Activities and Launch
Apollo 11 Facts Project: Pre-Launch Activities and Launch
Apollo 11 Facts Project: Earth Views and Crew Activities
Apollo 11 Facts Project: Earth Views and Crew Activities
Apollo 11 Facts: Apollo 11 Onboard
Apollo 11 Facts: Apollo 11 Onboard
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