The Apollo 11 Moon Landing was 48 years ago today. Here are some interesting things you may not know about one of the most important historical events of the 20th Century
1. Yes, It Really Happened
As Inverse explains (not that it needs explaining because it’s patently obvious that it happened), much of the technology you use today came as a result of the Apollo program, including Dustbusters and cordless drills, for example. Also, heart-monitoring telemetry (which literally saves lives on a daily basis), compression systems used in computing, miniaturization of computing components — the list goes on.
If that’s not good enough, you have the 3,000-plus journalists who covered the mission extensively, plus two generations of geologists who have studied the Moon rocks and determined, conclusively, that they didn’t originate on Earth.
In other words, either NASA paid off thousands of journalists — and an entire scientific discipline — and developed multiple technologies just for the heck of it or we really did send people up there to the Moon.
2. That Famous Flag The Astronauts Saluted Hasn’t Stood For Decades
It was knocked down from the blast when the lunar module launched back into space to catch up with the command module. What’s more, according to Business Insider, out of all of the flags left up there by all of the Apollo missions, exactly none of them still bear the red, white, and blue. They’ve all been bleached white by the Sun.
3. They Were Only There For A Few Hours
The Apollo 11 astronauts were only outside of the spacecraft and on the surface of the Moon in their spacesuits for about two and a half hours. By comparison, the Apollo 17 mission spent over three days on the Moon’s surface, and the astronauts would be outside the spacecraft for as much as seven hours at a time, according to NASA.
4. In Case They Didn’t Survive, They Had A Strange Plan To Support Their Families
Back in the 60s, astronaut insurance didn’t exist. What’s more, the men’s meager military pensions, should they have died in their historic mission, would have left their families struggling financially. However, they had a plan, according to space historian Robert Pearlman: they signed autographs, hundreds of them, and gave them to a friend for safekeeping. Then they would have been sold and the money used to support their families.
Do you think we should return to the Moon, or should we focus our efforts on putting humans on Mars? Share your thoughts in the comments below.