• Short Summary

    AT 0256 HOURS GREENWICH MEANTIME ON MONDAY, JULY 21 (OR 2256 HOURS EDT IN THE UNITED STATES ON SUNDAY, JULY 20) NEIL ARMSTRONG BECAME THE FIRST HUMAN BEING TO SET FOOT ON ANOTHER PLANET.

  • Description

    AT 0256 HOURS GREENWICH MEANTIME ON MONDAY, JULY 21 (OR 2256 HOURS EDT IN THE UNITED STATES ON SUNDAY, JULY 20) NEIL ARMSTRONG BECAME THE FIRST HUMAN BEING TO SET FOOT ON ANOTHER PLANET. THE SIMPLE GESTURE HAS ASSURED ARMSTRONG, AND HIS FELLOW MOON-WALKER, EDWIN ALDRIN, A PERMANENT PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.

    THE APOLLO ELEVEN MISSION UNDERTAKEN BY ARMSTRONG, ALDRIN AND MICHAEL COLLINS (WHO WAS THE LESS GLAMOUROUS ROLE OF PILOTING THE MOTHER SHIP IN LUNAR ORBIT DURING THE MOON WALK BY ARMSTRONG AND ALDRIN) WAS THE CULMINATION OF A SPACE PROGRAMME INITIATED BY THE LATE PRESIDENT JOHN KENNEDY EIGHT YEARS AGO. KENNEDY PLEDGED THAT AMERICA WOULD MAKE A LUNAR LANDING IN THIS DECADE.

    THE APOLLO ELEVEN SPACECRAFT AND THE CUMBERSOME LOOKING LUNAR LANDING MODULE WERE LAUNCHED FROM CAPE KENNEDY ATOP A SATURN V ROCKET FROM CAPE KENNEDY AT EXACTLY 1332 HOURS GMT (0932 EDT) ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 16 AFTER WEEKS OF COUNT-DOWN AND PRE-LAUNCH PREPARATION. THREE DAYS LATER, AND MORE THAN QUARTER OF MILLION MILES FROM EARTH THE THREE SPACE TRAVELLERS BROUGHT THEIR CAPSULE INTO LUNAR ORBIT.

    THE APOLLO SPACECRAFT AND THE COUPLED LUNAR MODULE, CODE NAMED EAGLE, REMAINED IN ORBIT FOR JUST OVER 26 HOURS. IN THE LAST FEW HOURS ARMSTRONG AND ALDRIN COMPLETED THE DIFFICULT AND UNCOMFORTABLE MANOEUVRE OF CRAWLING FROM THE COMMAND SPACECRAFT INTO THE MOON LANDING GRAFT. THE EAGLE'S DESCENT AND EVENTUAL LANDING GAVE RISE TO SOME ANXIETY. THERE WAS A MALFUNCTION (LATER RECTIFIED) IN AN ESSENTIAL COMPUTER DURING DESCENT, AND THE PROJECTED LANDING AREA WAS FOUND BY ARMSTRONG AND ALDRIN TO BE UNSATISFACTORY AND DANGEROUS. THE EAGLE EVENTUALLY TOUCHED DOWN IN AN AREA OF THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY FOUR MILES (6.4 KILOMETRES) FROM THE PLANNED LANDING SITE. TOUCHDOWN WAS TIMED AT 2017 HOURS GMT (0417 EDT) OF JULY 20.

    IT WAS NOT UNTIL SIX AND A HALF HOURS LATER THAT ARMSTRONG EMERGED FROM THE CAPSULE, DESCENDED THE LADDER AND PUT FOOT ON THE LUNAR SURFACE. HE WAS FOLLOWED BY ALDRIN EIGHTEEN MINUTES LATER, AND BOTH MEN THEN BEGAN A CLOSELY PLANNED PROGRAMME OF WORK, INCLUDING COLLPOTING LUNAR ROCK SAMPLES, LETTING UP LONG TERM SEISMOLOGICAL EQUIPMENT (TO STUDY SO CALLED "MOONQUESTS"); TESTING THE STRENGTH OF LUNAR GRAVITY, AND MAKING PERSONAL AND PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORDS OF THE STRANGE TERRAIN. DESPITE WEARING SUITS AND CARRYING PACKAGES OF OXYGEN AND RADIO EQUIPMENT WEIGHING MORE THAN 200 POUNDS (90.7 KILOGRAMS) BOTH MEN ??? THAT WORKING IN LUNAR GRAVITY (ONE SIXTH OF THAT OF EARTH) WAS ??? TAKING THAN HAD BEEN FORECAST.

    AFTER THE PROGRAMME ON THE LUNAR SURFACE HAD BEEN COMPLETED, ARMSTRONG AND ALDRIN WERE TO FACE THE MOST DIFFICULT AND TESTING MANOEUVRE OF THE ENTIRE APOLLO ELEVEN MISSION - THE ASCENT OF THE EAGLE FROM THE MOON TO MEET UP WITH COLUMBIA, THE MOTHER SHIP. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THE MANOEUVRE HAD BEEN PUT TO THE TEST, AND REQUIRED EXCEPTIONAL TIMING AND JUDGEMENT BY THE PILOTS OF BOTH GRAFT. EAGLE LEFT THE LUNAR SURFACE IN A FAULTLESS ROCKETED ASCENT AT 1755 HOURS GMT (1355 EDT), AND WAS RECOUPLED TO COLUMBIA THREE HOURS AND FORTY MINUTES LATER.

    THE THREE MEN SPLASHED DOWN IN THE PACIFIC AFTER AN UNEVENTFUL RETURN FLIGHT FROM THE MOON AT 1650 GMT (1250 EDT) ON JULY 24, AND IMMEDIATELY ENTERED A THREE WEEK PERIOD OF QUARANTINE AS A PRECAUTION AGAINST POSSIBLE INFECTION BY DISEASES PECULIAR TO THE MOON.

    THE APOLLO ELEVEN MISSION HAD 15 SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES. SCIENTISTS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE STRUCTURE AND SHAPE OF THE MOON; THE MOON'S AGE; IT'S EXACT DISTANCE FROM EARTH; THE PROCESSES OF EROSION ON THE LUNAR SURFACE; THE EXISTENCE OF BACTERIA ON OTHER ORGANISMS; AND THE INFLUENCES OF RADIATION AND MAGNETISM. AS A RESULT OF THE MISSION SCIENTISTS MAY NOW BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND FAR MORE THAN PREVIOUSLY POSSIBLE ABOUT EARTH'S NEAREST SPACE NEIGHBOUR.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAENDJ4IELTSH9FAXZQFOWCXAW8
    Media URN:
    VLVAENDJ4IELTSH9FAXZQFOWCXAW8
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    15/08/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:16:01:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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