The most daring travel scenario in the history of humanity occurred on 16th July 1969, when the Apollo 11 mission was launched from Cape Kennedy in Florida. Three astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were selected for this mission After reaching there, they together took some rock samples, images, for scientific experiments. They reached the Moon on 20th July, and later that day, millions watched on TV Neil Armstrong leaving the lunar lander to become the first man to set foot on the Moon. Neil Armstrong’s words announced that he was representing all mankind in the effort.
To perform the experiments, they worked on the taken rock samples, images, and did some scientific experiments for few hours before returning to the Eagle lander for the final time. They left the Moon approximately after 21 hours and 36 minutes to return to the Columbia command module. Both the astronauts returned to Earth to a hero’s welcome and the rest is history.
Why travel to the moon?
Apparently, the purposes of the human lunar missions were to study the Moon’s internal structure, surface composition, how the surface structure was formed, and its age. They declared to get samples of lunar soil and detected gases. Also investigate traces of volcanic activity, presence of any magnetic fields, the rate of solid objects hitting the moon and tremors. Samples would also be gathered of lunar soil and present gases.
However, there were some political considerations too. Space enthusiasts of a certain age would recall hearing a young the then-President John F. Kennedy on 12th September 1962, vowing to take Americans to the Moon’s surface.
Starting the road to the moon
The early manned flights of the Gemini and Mercury missions had demonstrated that humans could survive in space. Next came the Apollo missions, which intended to land humans on the Moon’s surface.
First would come unmanned test flights and then these would be followed by manned missions testing the command module in the orbit of the Earth. Next would come to the lunar module that would be connected to the command module, still in Earth’s orbit. Then, the first flight to the Moon would begin, followed by the first attempt to land on its surface. As many as 20 such missions were there in the plan.
All of the Apollo missions were the most successful manned missions to come out of the Cold War. They and the astronauts that flew them accomplished many great things that led NASA to create technologies that led not just to space shuttles and planetary missions, but also to improvements in medical and other technologies. The rocks samples and other things that two astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Aldrin, brought back revealed the Moon’s volcanic makeup and gave tantalizing hints to its origins in a titanic collision more than four billion years ago.
Later astronauts, such as Apollo 14 crew and beyond, returned with even more samples from Moon’s other areas. They have proved that science operations could be started there with ease. The Apollo missions and their equipment, on the technological side, blazed the way for advances in future shuttles and another spacecraft.