Apollo 11: The Eagle
By: Kylie Sobol

Basic Information

How far was it to the Moon?238,900 miles (384,400 km)
Launch Date: Kennedy Space Center, Merritt, Florida, July 16, 1969 at 9:32 a.m.
Astronauts: Neil Armstrong (38), Col. Edwin Eugene "Buzz Aldrin" (39), Lt. Col. Michael Collins (38).
Duration: The mission lasted 8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds
Total Distance Traveled: 828,743 miles
Lunar Destination: The Apollo 11 Lunar Module, the Eagle, landed in Mare Tranquillitatis, located at 0°4'5"N latitude, 23°42'28"E longitude.

Mission goals

The mission plan for Apollo 11 was to land two men safely on the Lunar surface and bring them back. The men were on the Lunar surface for 2.5 hours. The primary objective of the Apollo 11 was to complete the national goal to land a crew on the Moon and safely bring them back to Earth. Additional flight objectives included scientific exploration of the Lunar Module.

Fun facts

*Apollo 11 was the first mission to safely land astronauts on the Moon.

*Buzz Aldrin took secret Holy Communion.

*Data tapes were recorded as a backup in case the live television broadcasts failed for any reason.

*The astronauts left their backpacks and an American flag on the Lunar surface.

JFK's space Race speech

John F. Kennedy's speech affected the nation in many ways. JFK persuaded the nation to believe that the “space race” project would be a success. The president wanted to give the program a boost and to explain why the program was such a high priority. Kennedy gave his speech after being sworn into presidency 4 months previously. He was hoping to sound more positive to the public and fix up his bumpy start. JFK’s speech gave more hope to the nation for success.

Events that Influenced the Launch

The Cold War was still in effect during the preparation for the Apollo 11 launch. Thousands of miles away, near Hue, South Vietnam— where July 20 was already July 21 (Astronauts were still in orbit)— the men of another military unit, the Second Brigade of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, were equally busy. The brigade's Daily Staff Journal describes spotting North Vietnamese soldiers, destroying unexploded rockets, and blowing up enemy bunkers. Nevertheless, despite the pressures of war, the astronauts were able to complete the mission successfully.


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