Apollo 11 Launch: 40 Years Later


Only eight months before I was born this amazing event took place.  We have sadly forgotten the simple technology and incredible ingenuity that American scientists employed to make the first manned moon landing a reality.  We launch our Space Shuttles today and no one even notices.   I wonder if we’ll notice when NASA launches its next planned manned-moon mission around 2020…then possibly to Mars.

On 16 July 1969, half a million people gathered near Cape Canaveral (then Cape Kennedy), Florida. Their attention was focused on three astronauts—Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins—who lay in the couches of an Apollo spacecraft bolted atop a Saturn V launch vehicle, awaiting ignition of five clustered rocket engines to boost them toward the first lunar landing. This event took place eight years after President John F. Kennedy, in the wake of Soviet Sputnik and Vostok successes, issued a challenge to land men on the moon before 1970 and thus give the United States preeminence in space exploration. After twenty manned missions—two to the vicinity of the moon itself—the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was ready to achieve that goal.

At 9:32 A.M., the Apollo 11 crew fired the 200,000-pound-thrust Saturn S-IVB stage to escape earth’s gravitational field.  (answers.com)

For now, enjoy this memory.  We will remember the actual landing in just 4 short days.

Signing off.

JJ

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