50 years of Apollo 11: how were the historic landing a man on the moon

50 лет Apollo 11: как проходила историческая высадка человека на Луну

21 July 1969 at a time when the lander descended onto the surface of the moon, humanity has reached new horizons. A human landing on Earth’s natural satellite was a breakthrough, never to be repeated since 1972 as anyone and failed. The exciting story of Apollo 11, it is worth to remember and to tell. We will tell you in detail how it was.

Of course, the first landing of a manned spacecraft to the moon was a historic event and so far it is the unique achievement of mankind. July 20, 1969, the Eagle lander, on Board of which there were astronauts Neil Armstrong and buzz Aldrin, landed on the moon.

A few hours after this – 2:56:20 GMT on 21 July 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon. The live broadcast of landing a man on the surface of the natural satellite of the Earth looked 600 million people around the world. At that moment, employed about half of all televisions on the planet.

How it all began

In may 1961 U.S. President John F. Kennedy declared that before the end of the decade, the US “will send the first man on the moon and safely bring him back to Earth.” A year later, Kennedy made another famous speech informing Americans about the preparation of the Apollo mission.

We decided to fly in this decade to the moon and find many other great achievements – not because it’s easy, but because it is hard
– the President said.

The purpose of the mission Apollo 11 was to achieve what he promised Kennedy in 1961: to ensure the landing of an astronaut on the moon and safely return him to Earth. The mission also had a number of other purposes. So important was the scientific study of Earth’s natural satellite. The astronauts had to set the camera, that would send a signal to the scientists – they could monitor the experiments from Earth. The astronauts had to do a series of photographs of the lunar surface, to take soil samples and establish on the moon the flag of the United States of America.

The crew of Apollo 11 consisted of three astronauts: commander Neil Armstrong and pilot the lander Eagl buzz Aldrin, who were supposed to land on the moon. Command module pilot Michael Collins had to stay in lunar orbit in the ship Columbia. Was also a backup crew for the mission, which included astronauts James Lowell, Fred Haise, and William Anders. Lowell and Anders previously participated in the expedition of Apollo 8 became the first astronauts who flew to the moon. Lowell Hayes and was later part of the mission Apollo 13, which, however, had to be interrupted because of the accident.

50 лет Apollo 11: как проходила историческая высадка человека на Луну

The astronauts headed to the ship before Apollo 11 launch

By the way! Six days before the start date of the mission was found leaking in one of the cylinders of compressed helium, which was located in the oxidizer tank of the first stage booster. Two technicians climbed into the tank and tightening the nut on the cylinder, eliminated the leak. Further prelaunch took place without incident, and even more quietly than all previous manned Apollo missions.


16 July 1969 the crew of Apollo 11 was launched into space on a Saturn V rocket launch Kennedy in Florida.

On the eve of launching tourists filled all adjacent to the neighborhood spaceport at Cape Canaveral. Only one car was about 300 thousand, and the total number of those wishing to see the historical moment with my own eyes exceeded one million.

The launch of Apollo 11 took place on schedule. Among the 5 thousand honored guests at the Space center Kennedy attended the 36th U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and, at that time acting Vice-President Spiro Agnew. The event was broadcast live on television in 33 countries on six continents.

50 лет Apollo 11: как проходила историческая высадка человека на Луну

The time of the launch of the Saturn V vehicle of the Apollo 11

The flight went normally. The engines of all three stages of the rocket worked in accordance with the planned program, the ship was launched into geocentric orbit close to the calculated ones.

The lunar orbit, the ship went out about 76 hours after launch. During this time the astronauts spent an hour and a half session with Earth, Armstrong and Aldrin checked the onboard systems in the lunar module and began preparations for the undocking process. It took place after about 100 hours after the start.

Interestingly, in preparation for the flight, the astronauts spent hundreds of hours on simulators, practicing normal and emergency situation. The NASA center was constructed in a separate area, which imitated the place where he was to land astronauts.

The incident

20 July 1969 Apollo 11 with the first astronauts were at a distance of a few kilometers from the moon’s surface, when triggered the alarm system. In connecting the radar subsystem has suddenly updated the counter, which led to obtaining by the computer a request to perform a greater number of operations than he could handle.

Overload the computer’s input could disrupt the entire mission, but thanks to the foresight of a programmer named Margaret Hamilton, who took part in writing the code for the onboard computer, it did not happen.

50 лет Apollo 11: как проходила историческая высадка человека на Луну

Margaret Hamilton and its software code written for the space program Apollo

In the course of writing the code she used the so-called asynchronous programming – the principle according to which priority operations are performed independently of the main data stream. Hamilton was one of those who stood at the origins of this method. Through this approach, the onboard computer was able to focus on their main task – to land a spacecraft on the moon. Apollo successfully landed.

50 лет Apollo 11: как проходила историческая высадка человека на Луну

The lunar module before landing on the moon

Impressive, but the gadgets we use everyday for routine cases, several thousand times more powerful than all the equipment, which provided flight, landing a man on the moon and a successful return home.

On The Moon

Shortly after receiving permission to leave on the lunar surface Aldrin said on the air:

Says the pilot of the lunar module. I would like to take this opportunity to ask every person who listens to me, whoever he was and wherever he is, to escape, to reflect on the events of the past few hours and in their own way to pay tribute to.

July 21, 1969, came the hour of Armstrong. As the crew commander of Apollo 11 he was the first to set foot on the moon and said his historic words:

“That’s one small step for man but one giant leap for mankind.”

50 лет Apollo 11: как проходила историческая высадка человека на Луну

Neil Armstrong on the moon’s surface

A video of the first steps of Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface:

“The eagle has landed”, – reported on the Earth Neil Armstrong after landing on the surface of the Sea of Tranquility. The place where they landed, Armstrong and Aldrin, dark plain on the side of the moon faces the Earth. Since landing place called Tranquility Base. Three small crater near bear the names of the members of the crew of Apollo 11 – Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong.

Fifteen minutes to Armstrong was joined by Aldrin. The astronauts spent on the moon two-minute session with President Richard Nixon, took a photo of a landscape, set on the lunar surface seismometer and a laser reflector of radiation and collected samples of lunar soil. Aldrin spent on the lunar surface a little more than 1.5 hours, Armstrong is approximately 2.5 hours.

125 hour mission was launched on takeoff from the moon stage of the lunar module. On the landing stage, which remained on the surface of the moon, was reinforced plate, engraved with the map of the hemispheres of the Earth and the words:

“Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon. In July 1969 a new era. We came in peace for all Mankind.”

Under these words are engraved signatures of all three astronauts of the spaceship Apollo 11 and President Richard Nixon.

Return home

The flight from the moon to the Earth passed relatively uneventfully. 24 July 1969 lander Apollo 11 splashed down in the Pacific ocean. The flight duration from the moment of start till the moment of landing was exactly 195 hours and 19 minutes.

50 лет Apollo 11: как проходила историческая высадка человека на Луну

Splashdown the crew of Apollo 11 mission

Evacuation of astronauts was held with the utmost care. First, the ad hoc group of divers was treated Luke with a disinfectant solution. After that, the crew gave the new suits. The astronauts dressed, put them in an inflatable boat, and he was taken by helicopter to immediately be placed in a mobile quarantine van aboard the aircraft carrier Hornet. Experts feared that together with astronauts on the Ground can get potentially dangerous substances.

50 лет Apollo 11: как проходила историческая высадка человека на Луну

The astronauts in the quarantine van, are greeted by their wives after returning to Earth

After quarantine and release 13 August 1969, was organized a solemn meeting astronauts in new York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

50 лет Apollo 11: как проходила историческая высадка человека на Луну

Solemn meeting astronauts in new York

For the 50th anniversary of the mission was carried out a historical reconstruction of the mission control Center of the Apollo program in Houston at the time of the flight. All computers and other equipment were dismantled, restored and exhibited in its place, exactly as it was the day of launch of Apollo 11. Using photos of this historic day, the employees of NASA have placed on the tables, cups, pens, and documents – all in order to turn the mission control Center in a kind of time capsule.

Every device out there capable of performing the function for which it was dedicated July 16, 1969. All computers are working properly, the monitor displays the trajectory and telemetry. Every document which can be found on the table in the restored mission control Center of the Apollo mission, is a copy of a valid the day of the start of the document.

50 лет Apollo 11: как проходила историческая высадка человека на Луну

Restored the mission control Center of the Apollo program

Interesting fact! For quick exchange of documents and communications between employees in the mission control Center of the Apollo mission used a pneumatic mail.

On the website LRO played interactive map of all the movements of Aldrin and Armstrong on the lunar surface with all the radio conversations of the astronauts.

The network also features an interactive stream of the whole expedition with many video, audio, photographs and transcripts.