Things You Weren't Told About The First Moon Landing
In July 1969 two men walked on the Moon. This is the untold story of what went wrong and what we weren't told. David Reneke has unearthed dozens of amazing facts from previously classified CIA files and talks he had with Buzz Aldrin when he spent time with him at his home in California in 2008.
Armstrong's first tour of service to the Apollo program came as the commander of the back-up crew of the Apollo 8 mission, though he had been originally scheduled to back-up the Apollo 9 mission. (Had he remained as the Apollo 9 back-up commander he would have been slated to Command Apollo 12, not Apollo 11.)
Initially, it was planned that Buzz Aldrin, the Lunar Module Pilot would be the first to set foot on the Moon. However, it was determined that because of the positions of the astronauts in the module, it would require Aldrin to physically crawl over Armstrong to reach the hatch. As such, it was decided that it would be easier for Armstrong to exit the module first upon landing.
Apollo 11 touched down on the surface of the Moon on July 20, 1969, at which point Armstrong declared, "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." A hugh sigh of relief was said to have been breathed throughout mission control, as it was thought that Armstrong had merely seconds of fuel remaining before the thrusters cut and the lander plummeted to the surface. Armstrong and Aldrin exchanged congratulations before quickly preparing the lander to launch off the surface in case of an emergency.
On July 20, 1969, Armstrong made his way down the ladder from the Lunar Lander and, upon reaching the bottom declared "I'm going to step off the LEM now."
As his left boot made contact with the surface he then spoke the words that defined a generation, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Interestingly, he meant to say "one small step for a man," referring to himself.
Otherwise the phrase is actually contrary, since as stated man would imply mankind. Armstrong later was reported as saying that he hoped future quotations would include the "a" parenthetically. However, the phrase is still usually conveyed as he originally spoke it.
About 15 minutes after exiting the module, Aldrin joined him on the surface and they set to investigating the environment on the lunar surface.
All told, Armstrong and Aldrin spent 2.5 hours on the lunar surface. The astronauts then returned to Earth, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969.
Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed upon civilians, as well as a host of other medals from NASA and other countries.
These are just some of those amazing facts:
* As we all watched Armstrong set foot on the Moon we all thought we were watching the direct transmission - but we weren't. Find out why not and what you and I actually saw!
* Also amazing is the fact that there was no outside door handle on the lunar lander. What would have happened if they got locked out!
* Did you know Buzz Aldrin carried out Holy Communion on himself on the Moon, that his life fell apart when he returned from the Moon, that Neil and Buzz almost died on the Moon because of a broken ignition switch?
* Upon return the three astronauts were held in quarantine, just in case they came back with any strange organisms from the moon.
* Was Armstrong NASA's first choice ?
* The original Moon landing TV tapes are now missing...why?
* By the way, in a case of bureaucracy gone mad, the astronauts had to fill out a customs declaration form after returning with their samples of moon rocks and lunar dust. True!
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