LIFE

11 Facts You Probably Never Knew About The Apollo 11 Moon Landing

by Grace Eire
Grace plays in a band and is the mother to a black cat named Fitzhugh.

It seems like just yesterday we heard those famous words from Neil Armstrong, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

That was July 21, 1969, nearly 40 years ago. Neil and Buzz Aldrin basically became household names after their brave feat of becoming the first men to set foot on the moon.

But what do you really know about the first moon landing? Are you one of those folks who believes the conspiracy theories that the first moon landing never actually happened? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty positive that it most certainly did happen.

How do I know? Well, for starters, number six on this list is pretty solid evidence!

Do you remember what you were doing when these two astronauts walked on the moon? I wasn’t born yet, but boy, I bet that was exciting for folks all around the world.

Would you ever go into outer space if given the chance?

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1. There Are Very Few Pictures Of Neil Armstrong On The Moon

neil armstrong

Almost all of the still pictures from that day are of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, not Neil Armstrong. It was just some kind of fluke that Neil ended up behind the camera! The picture above might be the only image of Neil on the moon.

2. Neil And Buzz Weren't Alone Up There

2. Neil And Buzz Weren't Alone Up There

No, I’m not talking about aliens, although I am also not ruling them out! I’m talking about Michael Collins, the third astronaut on the Apollo 11 mission. He had the oh-so-fun job of orbiting the moon while Neil and Buzz made history galavanting on the moon’s surface, collecting space rocks.

3. NASA Lost A Ton Of Footage

lost footage

Even though NASA was smart enough to put a man on the moon, they still managed to lose 11 whole tapes from the moon landing. The footage that we do have of the moment Neil steps on the moon is actually a recording of a monitor playing the original tape.

4. The Boys Refused Their Nap

buzz aldrin

Buzz and Neil were so giddy to get out and complete their moonwalk mission that they called mission control to ask permission to skip their scheduled nap. Permission was granted, with the condition that they go to sleep as soon as they completed the mission.

5. They Were Quarantined For 21 Days After Landing

5. They Were Quarantined For 21 Days After Landing

Before scientists found that there was in fact no life on the moon, the three Apollo 11 astronauts were required to spend 21 days in an Airstream trailer just in case they had contracted some sort of moon disease.

6. They Left A Mirror On The Moon

6. They Left A Mirror On The Moon

For the Lunar Laser Ranging experiment, Neil and Buzz installed a mirror on the moon’s surface so that us earthlings could shoot a laser at the moon and measure how far away the moon is at all times by calculating how long it takes the beam to return to Earth.

7. A Pen Assisted In The Lunar Ascent

ascent

Buzz accidentally damaged a crucial circuit breaker while moving about the cabin, but luckily, a pen was enough of a quick fix. Neil stuck a pen in the circuit breaker’s hole and it was good enough to get the job done.

8. The Astronauts Wanted To Name Their Craft "Snowcone"

8. The Astronauts Wanted To Name Their Craft "Snowcone"

The astronauts wanted to be silly with the names, but NASA shut the sillies down and told them to get serious. Snowcone and Haystack were both vetoed, and Eagle and Colombia were the big winners.

9. The Rocket Was A Behemoth

saturn v

Saturn V remains the largest rocket to ever successfully launch, weighing in at over 6.5 million pounds. It also never lost any crew members or payloads between 1967 and 1973.

10. The Eagle Landed With Only 23 Seconds Of Fuel Left

10. The Eagle Landed With Only 23 Seconds Of Fuel Left

Some of the systems malfunctioned during the landing, so Neil had to take over the process manually. He handled the situation like a true pro, but if it had taken him 23 more seconds, he would have run out of fuel. Now that’s a close call!

11. Richard Nixon Had A Disaster Speech Prepared

11. Richard Nixon Had A Disaster Speech Prepared

President Nixon and his staff were well aware that there was a possibility the men wouldn’t return home. The president had a speech prepared in the event that tragedy played out.

It read: “Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that their is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.”

I’m pretty sure everyone was beyond happy that that speech never had to be read.

Did you know any of this about the moon landing? Please SHARE with your family and friends on Facebook!