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But it still took some time until the two of them actually stepped on the moon. First of all, the flight back had to be prepared. During 2. This small chunk is part of it. During the six Apollo excursions, samples were collected, almost kilograms. The collected works and their descriptions are listed in the "Lunar Sample and Photo Catalog". Not only samples were collected, but all kinds of stuff was left behind. This brooch by Neil Armstrong is one of the more symbolic objects. The olive branch less than half a foot in length represents peace. But you can also stumble over golf balls, a family photo with camera, works by Andy Warhol or a falcon feather.

Oh, and beware of astronaut excrement. The crew landed safely in the Pacific ocean, about nautical miles southwest of Hawaii and 12 nautical miles from the USS Hornet. After their arrival, the astronauts had to fill out a customs form and declare their moon rock. When asked for their disease exposure status, they wrote: "to be determined".

Key dates in history of space exploration

They were transported in a quarantine trailer where they were isolated for 21 days. Well, obviously the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission don't wear space suits here, but sombreros and ponchos. Fiesta Mexikana! A day tour following the space mission took the astronauts to 24 countries and 27 cities.

The US wanted to emphasize their willingness to share their space knowledge. The astronauts were celebrated like superstars like here in Mexico City. John Glenn was one of the first American astronauts. Glenn was a fighter pilot during the second world war and in the Korean War. As a test pilot in , he flew the first supersonic aircraft for the US air force.

As was discovered later, Sputnik wasn't a particularly elaborate piece of technology — it was a metal ball with a simple radio transmitter and receiver inside. But the Soviet success shocked the world.


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And put pressure on the US government to counter this new threat from space. But not only that, the then-president, Dwight D. We will be preparing for the day when manned flight goes into space," he said. And the American engineers were sure they could do it, too. They had Wernher von Braun on their side. Wernher von Braun was a aerospace engineer, who had built rockets for Nazi Germany. After the war, von Braun migrated to the US with about a hundred of his best experts and built an American missile program.

Politicians, like President Kennedy, and scientists considered Wernher von Braun an expert in rockets. The American public saw von Braun as the ultimate expert. It was only later, in the s, that people started to ask questions about von Braun's Nazi past and his involvement in war crimes. His sole concern, and that of his team, was delivering better satellites than the Soviets.

'I'm not that interested in space'

And they succeeded. Send the idiot who is sitting on a canon in the circus — and forget us! Then they tried to convince me: 'No, it will be alright — we'll put some monkeys and chimpanzees in first'. But I thought: Now I know I want out of here! So I really had a very negative opinion of it.

Apollo took us to the moon in Why haven't we gone back? - CNET

And here these seven budding astronauts watching this go up to 27, feet and it blew. And it just looked like an atomic bomb over our heads. Then we were looked at each other and thought: We'll have to talk to the engineers tomorrow.

On April 12, , cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit the Earth. And the Soviets were out in front again. John F. Kennedy had been elected US President. And like Eisenhower before him, Kennedy was determined to take the technological lead from the Soviets.

In a speech, Kennedy said: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving a goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.


  1. Fast Laughs.
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  7. Then, in another speech, he reiterated his determination: "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other thing, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. When Alan Shepherd became the first American to orbit Earth on May 5, , the gap between them and the Soviets had shrunk to less than a month. In the next eight years, the USA launched almost twice as many space missions as the Soviets. However, America's good run was not all good.

    In a spacecraft exploded during a ground test and three astronauts died. But it didn't stop NASA from setting ever more ambitious goals — such as the first moon orbits in October and November It was the first time astronauts had seen the far side of the moon. I kind of forgot the flight plan for a second as those ancient old craters slowly slipped by. Edward H. White went on the first space walk in and died two years later on a test flight for Apollo 1. While trying to land the capsule on the moon's surface, various computer alarms went off. Things remained hectic, even after the successful landing and Armstrong and Aldrin had said those legendary words: "the Eagle has landed.

    Public interest was huge. More than journalists were accredited at Cape Canaveral and Houston.

    "One small step for [a] man" (July 20, 1969)

    What I felt at that moment was: 'The TV better work or else! But the technology delivered and millions of people across the world watched as Neil Armstrong became the first human to put a foot on the moon, and said those other legendary words:. With the historic moon landing on July 20, , the moon could well have lost some of its mythical luster. Suddenly humans were exploring its mysteries first-hand — and even taking photographs. Science, it seemed, had finally conquered the Earth's enigmatic satellite — even its dark side.

    On July 27, a rare dual celestial phenomenon occurred: a relatively long lunar eclipse or "blood moon" due to the moon's change in color while shadowed by earth, and the nearest approach of planet Mars in 15 years. The very rare cosmic coincidence had sky gazers out in force. Since the beginning of time, however, the moon has been revered for its magic, mystery and cultural significance. People have worshipped the moon since the beginning of time, structuring their lives around its patterns and revering its perceived forces.

    Sometimes time was counted in moons rather than days or months. The bronze Nebra sky disc, found in Saxony-Anhalt in , represents the duality of early astronomy and spirituality. The first U. In , Alan Shepard became the first American to fly into space. On Feb. Landing on the moon: Apollo 12 launches for second moon landing Nov. Kennedy in Six Apollo missions were made to explore the moon between and During the s, unmanned spacecraft photographed and probed the moon before astronauts ever landed.

    By the early s, orbiting communications and navigation satellites were in everyday use, and the Mariner spacecraft was orbiting and mapping the surface of Mars. By the end of the decade, the Voyager spacecraft had sent back detailed images of Jupiter and Saturn, their rings, and their moons. In the s, satellite communications expanded to carry television programs, and people were able to pick up the satellite signals on their home dish antennas.

    Satellites discovered an ozone hole over Antarctica, pinpointed forest fires, and gave us photographs of the nuclear power plant disaster at Chernobyl in Astronomical satellites found new stars and gave us a new view of the center of our galaxy. In April , the launch of the space shuttle Columbia ushered in a period of reliance on the reusable shuttle for most civilian and military space missions. Twenty-four successful shuttle launches fulfilled many scientific and military requirements until Jan.

    The crew of seven was killed, including Christa McAuliffe, a teacher from New Hampshire who would have been the first civilian in space. The Space Shuttle was the first reusable spacecraft to carry people into orbit; launch, recover, and repair satellites; conduct cutting-edge research; and help build the International Space Station. The Columbia disaster was the second shuttle tragedy.

    The disaster occurred over Texas, and only minutes before it was scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center.