The fact that we made our way to the moon still seems unbelievable up to date.
It doesn’t really matter whether you witnessed the Apollo program live and in action, or were born after the events happened.
Looking back, everything seems surreal. It’s little wonder that so many people are actually sad that we’ve made so few other trips to the moon since then.
Given the fact that so many years have passed after the moon landing, a time will come where there’ll be no one to tell the tale of how they journeyed to the moon and back.
To ensure that their story lives on, we’ve dedicated today’s article to the legends of the Apollo 11 Moon mission. Here’s a toast to the astronauts for making us dream about the endless possibilities in the world today.
As an engineer, trained Navy test pilot and a Korean War Veteran, Neil Armstrong’s resume were bulletproof.
Even after he made his way out of the Navy in 1952, he continued to serve his country in the Naval Reserve. After a couple of tryouts, he became an experimental test pilot for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) starting in 1955.
Since this organization is what later on went on to become NASA, Armstrong was well placed to become an astronaut as early as 1962. Having risen through the ranks, he was elected to fly the Gemini 8 mission in 1966 and successfully managed to pull off a space docking procedure.
It’s important to note that it wasn’t at random that he became the first man to step out to the lunar surface. There were a couple of qualifying reasons that made him the most logical choice. For one, as commander, he was placed in charge of the entire mission. Since he had to be an all-rounder, there was little chance that his ego would get involved at any point in the mission. Interestingly, he also happened to be seated right at the door of the lunar lander.
While most of us like to celebrate him not just for his first gallant steps on the moon and Shakespeare-Esque mastery of poetry one-liners, Armstrong once opined that his greatest feat was actually landing the lunar module.
Understandably, he was a skilled pilot. For him, the greatest of joys lay in flying, not walking. If you ask any pilot the most pleasant thing in their line of work, they’ll likely tell you that it’s the pride that fills their heart as they land. Adding another feather in their cap of honors is what motivates most pilots to keep pressing on.
Long after the Apollo moon mission was over, and he was retired, Armstrong was fond of acknowledging that all the entire mission would not have become possible without the entire NASA team. He dabbled as a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Cincinnati for about 8 years, worked on a couple of boards for a handful of corporations and slowly faded away from the limelight.
With his passing in August on August 25th, 2012 at the grand age of 82, it’s safe to say that Armstrong lived a life full of adventure.
As a science scholar, Buzz Aldrin graduated third in his class at West Point in 1951 and proceeded to fly 66 combat missions as an Air Force pilot during the Korean War.
Before joining NASA as an astronaut in 1963, Buzz Aldrin earned a Ph.D. at MIT. He then went on to fly the Gemini12 spacecraft on the final Gemini mission.
Together with Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, Aldrin was part of the special bunch of astronauts trusted with conducting the first moon landing.
Fascinatingly, he took a Communion kit with him to the lunar surface. While he did not broadcast this fact, his actions have become part of the legend. He once cited that he did this in private because of a lawsuit against NASA with regards to the broadcasting of religious activities from the Moon.
Having retired from NASA in 1971, and the Air Force not long after in 1972, he ventured into the world of novels and has co-authored 5 books about his exploits in the space program.
As the command module pilot, Michael Collins did not make it to the lunar surface. Instead, he was charged with the role of ensuring that the command module (named Columbia) would be able to make a safe return back to earth.
His compatriots, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had roles that required them to step out to the Moon’s surface. In particular, Armstrong was the Mission Commander, overseeing everything. On the other hand, Aldrin was the lunar module (named Eagle) pilot, charged with ensuring that this part would touch down on the Moon.
Notably, before the Apollo 11 moon mission, all three astronauts had worked as part of the Gemini space program. After the successful moon mission, none of them ever ventured back into space.
AstroReality was glad to meet Michael Collins in person at Apollo 50th Gala on July 16, 2019, and had him signed on our LUNAR Pro model.
Having shared the background on the 3 Apollo 11 astronauts, we’re confident you’re well versed with what really went down during the mission. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon mission, AstroReality has partnered up with ShareSpace, one of the vital organizations in the Aldrin Family Foundation.
The partnership has allowed us to come up with a revolutionary Giant Moon Map complete with all the bells and whistles to make for a truly immersive, interactive, and informative experience. It would be remiss if we didn’t share that the centerpiece of the equation is augmented reality technology, our forte.
With the Giant Moon Map to make its debut on July 20th at New York Times Square, we’re hoping you’ll be able to make time and check out just how far human innovation has brought us.
Excited? We sure hope so! As a rejoinder, we’d like to notify you that to mark the Apollo 11 50th anniversary, we have an exclusive set of 50 LUNAR Max (200mm LUNAR models) that are about to drop next week. One of the Signature Edition of the LUNAR Max model was signed by Apollo astronauts and auctioned off during the Apollo 50th Gala. Be sure to cop them once they’re out in the public domain!