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Apollo 11 launch 40th anniversary

Jul16

Written by:
2009/07/16 10:29 PM RssIcon

Today, July 16, is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, on its way to the moon and on it’s way into the future and into history. The first manned mission to land on moon. Aboard were astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr.

Forty years ago today, July 16, 1969, the most momentous space flight in the history of mankind rocketed skyward at 9:32 AM EDT. Apollo 11, the culmination of the United States space program that integrated the talents of over 300,000 scientists, engineers, skilled crafts workers, pilots, astronauts, and countless other professionals, was the mission that would finally achieve the goal set forth by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 -- "landing a man on the moon, and returning him safely to the Earth."

Now I am into Sci-Fi and love things like Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, etc. It has been said that Sci-Fi geeks had been predicting space flight years before. But this day in history brought Science Fiction to Science Fact.

Apollo 11 took four days in all from the countdown of the Saturn V rocket at the start to the journey into space to finally landing on the moon.

If you were one of the millions of viewers around the world who watched the launch of Apollo 11 forty years ago this morning, here is what you saw, if you did not see, take time to watch the following video:

For some fantastic picture and memories of the event go here

If you were like us in South Africa, with no TV yet, you probably listened to it on the radio, or the “Wireless” as it was known then.

Some stats courtesy of blabla.co.za:

The Date & Time:
16 July 1969
13:32:00 UTC

The Place:
Kennedy Space Center
Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.

The Vehicle:
Saturn V 3-stage liquid-fuel rocket
Height: 110.6 m (363 ft)
Diameter: 10.1 m (33 ft)
Mass: 3,038,500 kg (6,699,000 lb)

The Crew:
Commander: Neil Armstrong
Command Module Pilot: Michael Collins
Lunar Module Pilot: Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.

The Modules:
The Lunar Module was named “Eagle” after the bald eagle depicted on the insignia; the bald eagle is the national bird of the United States.
The Command Module was named “Columbia”, from the traditional feminine name Columbia used for the United States in song and poetry. (There is some speculation that the name may also have been chosen in reference to the columbiad cannon used to launch the moonships in Jules Verne’s novel From the Earth to the Moon.

Where were you 40 years ago. Did you see or listen to the launch and the subsequent moon landing including the great line, “One small step for man, one giant step for mankind”.

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