NASA’s Apollo Missions

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Neil Armstrong, Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin and Michael Collins Prior to Launch of Apollo 11
Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins Prior to Launch of Apollo 11

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Static crackled and hissed as NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong took the historic first step on the surface of the moon and uttered the now unforgettable phrase, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Back home on Earth, approximately 530 million people watched the moment play out on their television screens.The lunar landing marked a pinnacle of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission and now, 46 years later, it remains a major milestone in American history. The space flight — manned by Armstrong, as well as Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins — had been given a mission by President John F. Kennedy three years prior: Land a crew on the moon and return to Earth.Aldrin and Armstrong planted the American flag on the dusty gray surface, though it was blown over when their spacecraft took off, according to NASA.In addition to footprints in the gray lunar dust, the crew left five commemorative medallions inscribed with the names of three Apollo 1 astronauts who died in a launch pad fire and two who died in accidents. There was also a special message from humans: They also left a small silicon disk with goodwill messages from 73 countries and the names of those who’d contributed to the mission’s success.

Source: 46 years ago, Armstrong took ‘one small step for man’ | MSNBC 

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                      Welcome back My Dear Shoevians to The Other ShoeToday is a historic day, for all Americans, for this is the day that (forty-six years ago) Edward ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong landed in the surface of the Moon. Fellow astronaut, Michael Collins, remained in the Command Module as these two intrepid astronauts achieved, for mankind, what no other people or nation had. The top image is of the three headed to the Apollo 11 rocket in Cape Canaveral Florida. It took three short days for the three to make the 238,900 miles (384,400 km) journey from Earth orbit to Lunar orbit. 

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The Apollo 11 Saturn V space vehicle lifts off July 16, 1969 from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex in Florida.
The Apollo 11 Saturn V space vehicle lifts off July 16, 1969 from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex in Florida.

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I was but a boy of eleven years old, when this mission broke the surly bonds of earth, and that of our imagination(s), and headed further than any; person, nation or civilization had ever traveled. Those 238,900 miles and three days seemed to just drag on, forever. The Texas heat, and my excitement, seemed to grow with each and every passing day. Each day, my father and I, would watch the news (and the broadcasts from the Command Module) with growing excitement and anticipation. This was a journey made by the three astronauts, but millions of fathers and sons all across America (and the world) made this journey with them. 

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24th July 1969:  Celebrations in the Manned Spacecraft Centre in Houston, Texas, upon the successful return of the Apollo 11 lunar landing crew.
24th July 1969: Celebrations in the Manned Spacecraft Centre in Houston, Texas, upon the successful return of the Apollo 11 lunar landing crew.

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Then on July 20th, 1969 at 5:17 PM Texas time, the two astronauts in the Lunar Module touched down on Tranquility Base (in the ‘Sea of Tranquility east side of the Moon). My father had arrived home, early, just to watch Neil Armstrong descend the ladder and utter those, no famous, words: “this is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” and my father and I cheered! America had landed men on the moon, just as President John Kennedy had requested. My father and I stayed up all night watching the coverage, much to the chagrin of my brother Darrell and my Mother. They were missing their regular television shows and did not really share our enthusiasm. 

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Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., lunar module pilot, descends the steps of the Lunar Module ladder July 20, 1969 as he prepares to walk on the Moon.
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., lunar module pilot, descends the steps of the Lunar Module ladder July 20, 1969 as he prepares to walk on the Moon.

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For the next 21 1/2 hours I was transfixed to the television. Unable to sleep or take my eyes away, I watched every moment that was broadcast. My father, of course, had to go to work in the morning, but upon arriving home, I gave him the ‘blow-by-blow’ of the day’s lunar broadcast. With these three intrepid space travelers on their way home, my father and I took the the airwaves of Ham Radio to share our American Pride and our experience to any/all that would listen. For it was we, as a NATION, that had truly put mankind on the lunar surface. Oh, America had built; the rocket, the lander, the command module and trained the men… but it really was mankind that had made this journey to the stars. 

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Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module Pilot, stands near a scientific experiment on the lunar surface. Man's first landing on the Moon occurred July 20, 1969 as Lunar Module "Eagle" touched down gently on the Sea of Tranquility on the east side of the Moon.
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module Pilot, stands near a scientific experiment on the lunar surface. Man’s first landing on the Moon occurred July 20, 1969 as Lunar Module “Eagle” touched down gently on the Sea of Tranquility on the east side of the Moon.

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Now, for the past 46 years, I have always taken a moment of pause on this day. July 20th will always live as a defining day for America and mankind. We went back, five more times, but Americans were too worried over Vietnam and the disaster of Apollo 13 scared the American people. I sit here, today in 2015, and still wonder why we haven’t returned? Why did America’s ‘thirst for space’ come to such a terrible halt? As that young boy? I felt confident that, by now, Americans would be living on the lunar surface. It is heartbreaking, in a way. 

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Aldrin is deploying the solar wind experiment on the lunar surface. The lunar module is in the background. Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, was launched on 16th July 1969 with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins on board, and Armstrong and Aldrin became the first and second men to walk on the Moon on 20th July 1969.
Aldrin is deploying the solar wind experiment on the lunar surface. The lunar module is in the background. Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, was launched on 16th July 1969 with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins on board, and Armstrong and Aldrin became the first and second men to walk on the Moon on 20th July 1969.

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So, My Dear Shoevians, I make it my journey to share with all of you ‘The Mars Report’ and ‘Lost in Space’. I do this for two reasons: 

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  1) To keep the love of space alive in me.

  2) To hopefully share my deep love for all things space exploration so that I might reach someone new. 

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Today was to be another edition of ‘The Mars Report’. That is until I realized just what day it was today. It is 1:30 PM PDST and I am working my fingers to the bone to get this article published in time. This mission meant the world to me, as a boy. It was not just the space adventure, it was that I took this adventure with my father. From launch to splashdown, me share this adventure, together. He was so very proud to see this mission take place… in his lifetime… right before his eyes. You see, My Dear Shoevians, this was a great time for America, and a great time to be an American. 

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Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., the lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission, stands next to a United States flag July 20, 1969 during an Apollo 11
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., the lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission, stands next to a United States flag July 20, 1969 during an Apollo 11

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We shared this journey together as a nation. I cannot think of another time, in my lifetime or the modern age of America, when we couldn’t use a unifying event (like this) again. Today, America is just so divided. So.. at each other’s throats. We need common journey again. Something to united Americans as a people once more. I hope that it happens. I hope that it happens in my lifetime. We sure do need it.

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Neil Armstrong and Edwin ?Buzz? Aldrin climbed down the steps of the Lunar Module to become the first humans to set foot on another planetary body.
Neil Armstrong and Edwin ?Buzz? Aldrin climbed down the steps of the Lunar Module to become the first humans to set foot on another planetary body.

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Well, My Dear Shoevians, that brings this (today’s offering) to a close. This has been a wonderful journey down memory lane and I couldn’t think of a better group of people to share it with that you, My Dear Shoevians. Thanks for dropping by… and reading… and enjoying. Remember to  ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ o that others can have the same experience that you have just enjoyed. 

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n Apollo 11 astronaut's footprint in the lunar soil, photographed by a 70 mm lunar surface camera during the Apollo 11 lunar surface extravehicular activity.
n Apollo 11 astronaut’s footprint in the lunar soil, photographed by a 70 mm lunar surface camera during the Apollo 11 lunar surface extravehicular activity.

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Adieu!

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Thank you! 

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Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. walks near the Lunar Module during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity July 20, 1969 on the Moon.
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. walks near the Lunar Module during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity July 20, 1969 on the Moon.

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Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe
Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

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© 2010 – 2015 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

 

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