Tuesday, July 16th, 1969, Apollo 11 blasts off from Kennedy Space Center on an epic mission not only to land on the moon, but also to have astronauts take the first step on the moon. On Saturday, July 20th, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon at 10:17 pm. Several hours later, Neil Armstrong stepped out of Apollo Lunar Module Eagle and history was made.
In a time when the Cold War was raging on, and the race between US and Russia to see who could be the first to put a man on the moon, the United States prevailed.
I was not alive when this happened, but have seen many documentaries and the footage of the landing, and the first steps taken. ABC World News had a piece on the mission Monday, and the landing, and I admit, it made me choke up a bit.
Anyone have memories of the lead up to the take off, landing, etc? Stories to share?
I was stationed at an airbase in Tokyo. It happened in the morning over there. We watched it on TV in the dayroom.
A couple of my buddies and I went barhopping downtown that night. It was impossible to buy a meal or a drink. Everything was on the house when they saw we were Americans. “Hi, GI- Congratulations Apollo 11”
That day/night I remember looking at the moon, it was low on western sky in what we call waxing crescent phase. For those that don’t know that’s the first phase after the new moon. About quarter of it was illumination.
I was one and a half so if I saw it I have no memories.
But I’ve been following space flight since I was a kid. One of my first ever researched essays (back in the days when if you wanted to research you had to go to the library) was Apollo: Greatest Human Endeavor
In awe they did this with slide rules and an onboard computer with less computing power than a calculator (they did have big ground-based mainframes at the Real Time Computing Complex).
If you go to YouTube search moon landing MIT and you’ll see a very good series of videos from the MIT Science Professor on how it all worked.
I’m in awe because in this day of high powered electronics and computers…we have lost the ability to build the big engines on the S-1C stage. We know the basic design but there were a lot of tweaks in the handwritten engineering notes which are all lost.
So when we go again, the modern day LM and CSM will have to go up on two separate rockets (we are sending a larger crew this time so to be fair each module is much bigger).