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Apollo 11

Apollo 11
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It was in Cape Canaveral, Florida on July 16th, 1969 that Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins boarded the Apollo 11. Their mission: to land on the moon. An event that will forever be the most memorable feat in the conquest of space. It took Apollo 11 a little more than three days to reach the Moon's orbit. From there, Armstrong and Aldrin moved to the "Eagle", a Lunar Module that strangely resembled a spider. It was in this cramped craft, with its 2.35 meter (7.7 foot) cockpit, that the astronauts executed their descent to the moon's surface. On July 20th, 1969 close to half a billion spectators watched, with their eyes glued to the television set, Neil Armstrong open the hatchway and tread upon the Moon's soil for the first time then emotionally declare "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind". The Apollo 11 mission is an out- and-out success. By walking on the moon, these two men accomplished what an entire nation only dreamed of. All of America thought of their new heroes as triumphant on July 24th, 1969. From this day forward, anything was possible!

In order for the Apollo 11 to cross the distance that separates the Earth from the Sea of Tranquility, NASA needed to create the biggest rocket ever: the Saturn V Used 13 times between 1968 and 1973, it was the mighty power of this enormous launcher that allowed ships weighing over 140 tons to be propelled into space. Measuring 110 meters (360 feet) the rocket weighed 2,700 tons at take-off, but a large portion of its weight was made up of fuel. The rocket consisted of three stages, each equipped with motors that gave the rocket the necessary boost to lift off from the platform, accelerate and then go into orbit. The upper third part of the rocket held the Service Module, the Lunar Module and the Apollo 11 Command Module. The barrel-shaped Service Module supplied oxygen, water and electricity to the crew during the voyage. Situated at the apex of the rocket, the Command Module enclosed the 600 or so controls necessary to navigate the ship.

A trip well worth the detour!
The progress and innovations generated by the conquest of space are abundant. The pacemaker, numeric image, digital display, miniature camera and the scanner are but a few of the some 30,000 different inventions that have seen the day because of the Apollo missions. It has been estimated that for every dollar invested in the Lunar landing Program there was return of approximately nine dollars on Earth.


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