Apollo 11 50th Anniversary – The Mission that Changed the World
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong, after his first step on the Moon.
It has been almost 50 years since the lunar module; Eagle landed on the Moon, and humankind took its first steps on another planetary body. On July 16th, 1969 the Apollo 11 launch took place at Cape Kennedy, 9:32 am EST, let’s look into how this mission became a game-changer for the entire world and celebrate the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary.
The Apollo 11 crew consisted of Commander Neil Armstrong, Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, Commander Module Pilot Michael Collins and hundreds of scientists and engineers. The astronauts were launched into space by a Saturn V rocket, and the state of the art spacecraft had three parts that all played a pivotal role in the mission.
The command module was the first part and had a cabin fit for the three astronauts. Out of the entire rocket, this was the only part that would be returning to earth. The service module was a support system for the command module, providing water, oxygen, electrical power, and propulsion. The last part, the lunar module, was what would be used to land on the Moon and explore its surface.
The trip to the Moon was approximately four days, with Apollo 11 landing successfully at 102 hours, 43 minutes and 40 seconds after launch, touching down on July 20, 1969. The Apollo 11 Moon landing was by no means easy and was the most dangerous part of the mission. Once the spacecraft was above the landing area, the lunar module separated from the command module, where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the surface, while Michael Collins orbited the Moon, waiting for them.
While the crew had done several simulation tests for the Apollo 11 mission, there were many unforeseen circumstances that almost made the mission a failure. The lunar module had some issues getting to the Moon’s surface and because it took longer for the crew to get to the surface, they almost ran out of fuel. But Buzz Aldrin took the reigns of the module, and safely made the first Moon landing at the Sea of Tranquility.
Once safely landed, the crew started their preparations to explore the surface of the Moon. Six hours after landing, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their way out of the lunar module, and the first steps on the Moon were recorded by a surface television at 109 hours, 24 minutes and 19 seconds after launch.
During their surface exploration, the astronauts not only collect important samples, but they put the American flag on the surface to show how America had defeated the odds. The men also put a plaque that said, “We came in peace for all mankind.”
Once Aldrin and Armstrong were done with the surface exploration, they started the process of their ascent to the command module which was circling the Moon’s atmosphere. However, the men realized that the circuit breaker that would arm the engine for the ascent was damaged and had to be fixed or they would be stranded. Who knew that it would be a felt tip pen that would fix the circuit and save the mission?
The Apollo 11 astronauts eventually landed in the North Pacific Ocean approximately 900 miles Southwest of Hawaii, their landing marked the massive achievement of the Apollo 11 mission – to get to the Moon’s surface and return the crew safely back to Earth.
To celebrate the Apollo 11, 50th Anniversary, The Kennedy Space Center in Florida has a couple of events going on. July 16th, 2019 will kick off some special events at The Kennedy Space Center alongside all their normal exhibitions and shows. The day will start will a Flashback Event in the morning. Guests will enjoy a simple breakfast followed by the launch sequence of Apollo 11 played from archival television footage from July 16th, 1969 which will be played at 9:32 am EST.
Along with this special event, the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex employees will be handing out collectible cards, collectible pins, lanyards, badges, and more! At the end of the day, the band Duran Duran will hold a special and private performance at 10:30 pm.
If you would like to help celebrate the anniversary, you can buy Kennedy Space Center Tickets off Way!
The Kennedy Space Center Daily Admission tickets include:
- Space Shuttle Atlantis
- Shuttle Launch Experience
- Heroes and Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame presented by Boeing
- Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour including Apollo/Saturn V Center
- Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted
- Astronaut Encounter
- IMAX Theater 3D Films
- Kennedy Space Center Launch Viewing (when available)
- Numerous shows and exhibits
You can always choose a ticket that includes Daily Admission (comes with everything listed above) as well as transportation to and from your hotel. Bonus for this activity, they include an awesome commemorative pin – here!
Last, if you want to learn a first-hand account of what it is like to be an astronaut, get the Kennedy Space Center – Ultimate experience. This package has your daily admission (everything listed above), as well as the Dine with an Astronaut program! There you can ask real astronauts questions about space and learn from a first-hand account. Wrap up the day with one of the private Kennedy Space Center tours of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
For a great Kennedy Space Center tickets discount, plan your activities with Way! If the Kennedy Space Center is too far for you, check out the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum or Space Center Houston to join in on the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary celebration!