The moon landing was watched by roughly 600 million people, according to CNN. Not only the country, but the World followed along in anticipation as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins embarked on their 76 hour mission to land on the moon.
Obviously, putting someone on the moon takes time and patience but in 1961, President Kennedy announced plans to put someone on the moon by the end of the decade.
We all know the story of the actual moon landing but History explores the events leading up to it;
The Space Race begins in 1957, after the Soviet Union successfully launches the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I. The thought of the Soviets being more technically advanced than America was terrifying to both the people and the government. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is founded in 1958, in response.
In 1962, NASA launches its first manned ship into Earth’s orbit.
Just five years after President Kennedy’s 1961 announcement, NASA was able to conduct an unmanned Apollo mission as a test. While this test was considered successful, tragedy soon followed suit.
In 1967, a fire broke out at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The fire took place during a launch pad test of Apollo. Three died.
Not even a year later, Apollo 7 orbited the Earth successfully to gain further information about how the Moon landing would happen. Only a few months passed before Apollo 8 took three astronauts to the dark side of the moon and back.
Finally in the year 1969 Apollo 10 made a dry run around the moon as one final safety measure, early in the year. Finally, on July 16 the Apollo 11 took flight. After four days, Neil Armstrong walks on the moon. Armstrong and Aldrin spent a couple of hours performing tests before boarding the spaceship to spend the night parked on Moon’s surface.
After Apollo 11, there were five more runs to the moon. However, interest in the moon landings faded after Apollo 13, according to History. The Apollo missions were shut down during the Vietnam War, as they were much too expensive to run. Astronauts and professionals at NASA were relieved, the Apollo missions were incredibly dangerous and NASA was lucky to have never lost a crew in flight.
Do you remember the moon landing? Did you learn about the events leading up to the moon landing at school? Let us know in the comments below!