Apollo 11’s 51st Anniversary: Lesser Known Facts about Mankind’s First Step on Moon

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Jr. poses for a photograph beside the US flag on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission | NASA / AP.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Jr. poses for a photograph beside the US flag on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission | NASA / AP.

The event was of paramount importance and went on to idolize Neil Armstrong, who was the commander of the mission, and his great saying: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’.

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  • Last Updated: July 20, 2020, 6:20 PM IST

It was on July 20, 1969, that NASA’s Apollo 11 reached the moon and astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the blue planet’s natural satellite.

The event was of paramount importance and went on to idolize Armstrong, who was the commander of the mission, and his great saying: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

But did you know that there exists a lot of speculation and lesser-known facts about the moon mission? Let’s find out some of these:

The reflector array

Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin left things back on the moon. Apart from hoisting the American flag (which alone was a hot subject of conspiracy theories), they had also stationed the ‘lunar laser ranging retroreflector array’ on the moon.

This machine worked for decades to inform the NASA scientists about the moon’s orbit and the truth behind gravitational theories.

Smell of the moon

The soil of the moon is very hard to dust off and hence clung to the astronauts’ suits. When the shuttle was closed the men also noticed an odour coming from the soil. It smelled that of the sky after fireworks.

Moon trio had to quarantine

As no human had been to the moon before, scientists were not sure about the microbes that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins could bring back with them. So the trip was put into a quarantine facility after coming back.

Smartphones are light years ahead of computers on Eagle

Apollo 11 had the best technology and the best support of its times but within 50 years, our normal smartphones have greater capabilities when compared to the computers aboard the module.

You can catch the images from the historic day here.

Or watch the moon landing in NASA’ video above.



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