Wednesday October 31, 2012. ( The Race to the Moon: Project Apollo: Apollo 9 – Apollo 11). The Launch Pad Wednesday, 10/31/12. If you could somehow sit down and talk to Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee about the cost of the Race to the Moon, what do you think they would tell you?.
(The Race to the Moon: Project Apollo: Apollo 9 – Apollo 11)
If you could somehow sit down and talk to Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee about the cost of the Race to the Moon, what do you think they would tell you?
Two new Science Teachers Hired at Nimitz High School
Nimitz High School today announced the resignation of science teachers Mr. C and Ms. Q.
They will be replaced by two new teachers, one from Bosnia and one from Romania.
The new teachers are expected to electrify their students.
Read All About It!
Grumman Aerospace Corporation was the chief contractor on the Apollo Lunar Module, having received the contract on November 7, 1962.
The Lunar Module (LM) was an extremely difficult vehicle to build, and as 1969 began it still was not ready to fly.
Concern was high, because without a lunar lander, there would be no Moon landing.
During January and February, Grumman made strides that allowed the LM to be man-rated for Earth orbital tests.
On March 3, 1969, Apollo 9 lifted off carrying the first Lunar Module to fly in space.
Astronauts Jim McDivitt, David Scott, And Rusty Schweickart spent 11 days in Earth orbit testing out the new lander.
McDivitt and Schweikart got into the LM, separated from the Command Module containing Scott, and went out to a distance of 111 miles before returning to the CM.
The LM had passed it first spaceflight test.
Apollo 10 lifted off from Florida on May 18, 1969 carrying astronauts Tom Stafford, John Young, And Gene Cernan, and the second LM to fly.
Apollo 10 was a “dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing mission.
This mission would go to the Moon, and enter lunar orbit, this time carrying the lander.
Stafford and Cernan would get into the LM and descend to within 50,000 feet of the surface, then return to Young waiting in the CM.
The mission was successful, and the door was open for the first lunar landing attempt.
The mission given to the next flight, Apollo 11, was to attempt the first Moon landing.
The crew consisted of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, each having flown once before of separate Gemini missions.
Neil Armstrong was a 38-year-old former Navy pilot.
He flew the X-15 rocket plane earlier in his career.
Armstrong was the commander of Gemini VIII, the mission that performed the first docking of two spacecraft in orbit.
Michael Collins was a 38-year-old Air Force test pilot.
He performed America’s third EVA (spacewalk) during the Gemini X mission in July 1966.
Buzz Aldrin was a 39-year-old Air Force test pilot.
He performed America’s fifth EVA (spacewalk) during the Gemini XII mission in July 1966.
Apollo 11 left for the Moon on July 16, 1969 atop a Saturn V launch vehicle.
The three astronauts coasted to the Moon over the next three days.
On Sunday morning, July 20th, Armstrong and Aldrin entered the lunar module “Eagle” and undocked from the Command Module “Columbia” containing Mike Collins.
Eagle backed away from Columbia and fired its descent stage engine to begin the long ride down to the surface.
At 50,000 feet altitude above the Moon’s surface, the descent engine was fired again.
This time it remained on to slow the Eagle and allow it to proceed on down to the surface.
This was the Point where Apollo 10 went back up to join the waiting command module.
A series of computer program alarms sounded in the LM cockpit in the final few minutes of the landing phase, but controllers back on Earth told the astronauts to proceed with the landing attempt.
Armstrong noticed that he was seeing landmarks on the surface a few seconds ahead of the time he expected them, leading him to believe they were heading for a spot a few miles downrange from their intended target.
As the surface drew and nearer, Armstrong saw that the computer was flying Eagle into a boulder field with a large crater among the boulders.
Not wanting to land here, he took over manual control of the lander and flew over the crater and boulders, but this delayed the touchdown and caused the spacecraft to run extremely low on fuel.
Houston became very concerned and considered an abort.
Finally, with 15 seconds of fuel remaining, Eagle’s landing pads touched the lunar surface.
Aldrin called out “contact light!”, Eagle’s descent engine shut down, and the lander settled softly onto the lunar surface.
Neil Armstrong’s first words after landing were “Houston, Tranquility Base here… the Eagle has landed.”
After spending a few hours checking out all of Eagle’s systems, the astronauts put on their lunar surface suits, drained off the cabin pressure, opened Eagle’s front door, and made final preparations to make history’s first “moonwalk.”
On July 20, 1969, at 9:56 p.m. Houston time, 39-yearold American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.“
Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the Moon.
The next morning, July 21st, Armstrong and Aldrin lifted off from the surface on the Moon, rendezvoused and then docked with Collins waiting in Columbia.
Several hours later, the three Apollo 11 astronauts fires their main engine one more time and began their three-day journey home.
On July 24th, 1969, the Apollo 11 Command Module carrying three American astronauts and many pounds of lunar soil and rock samples entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.
Its parachutes opened and Columbia splashed down in calm waters.
The astronauts were quickly taken onboard a helicopter to be transferred to the waiting USS Hornet.
Over the next several months, Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, and Buzz Aldrin were celebrated as heroes in parades around the world.
The Race to the Moon was over, and America had won.
John F. Kennedy’s national goal had been fulfilled.