Fifty Years ago, on July 20th, 1969, two astronauts set foot on the moon for the first time in human history! We all know the basics of what happened but there are a lot more facts about the moon landing and Apollo 11 that aren’t common knowledge, and these are just a handful!
- The Apollo 11 American flag placed on the moon was knocked down by the Lunar Module take off thrust. However, 5 more American flags still stand on the moon today.
- The bottom run of the Lunar Module’s ladder was about 3.5 feet from the ground, so the “small step” taken for man by Neil Armstrong was more of a drop.
- Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong left the door of the Lunar Module slightly ajar to keep from being locked out.
- A gold replica of an olive branch was left on the surface of the moon by Neil Armstrong.
- The American flag from the Apollo 11 mission was likely purchased by a NASA secretary at a Houston Sears.
- The Apollo 11 guidance computer weighed 70 pounds and was less powerful than today’s smart phones.
- An Oxford Physicist determined that for the moon landing to be a hoax, 411,000 people would have to be complicit in the conspiracy and not leak any information.
- Apollo 11 astronauts were quarantined for two weeks after returning to Earth.
- Nixon’s speech writer drafted a “Just-In-Case” speech for Nixon to deliver in the event of the astronauts perishing during their mission.
- The Apollo 11 mission was so dangerous that none of the astronauts were able to purchase life insurance.
- Mathematicians such as Katherine Johnson were employed by NASA as “human computers” to verify that the calculations made by engineers were correct.
- Three minerals were discovered from moon rock samples brought back by Apollo 11. Those minerals are armalcolite, tranquillityite, and pyroxferroite.
- Upon arrival in Honolulu, after splashing down in the Pacific 900 miles southwest of Hawaii, Neil Armstrong jokingly filled out a customs and immigration form after their extraterrestrial travels.
- The moon landing was the most watched televised event in the US to that date.
- The Apollo 11 mission was saved by a felt tip pen. When the switch to the circuit breaker that activated the ascent engine of the Lunar Module malfunctioned, the astronauts used a felt tip pen to flip the switch and get back home!
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