Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of man’s first landing on moon.
On July 20, 1969, first spaceflight – Apollo 11- landed on the lunar surface at 20:17 UTC with Commander Neil Armstrong, Pilot Michael Collins, and Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans in history to set foot on the Moon.
That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, uttered when he places his left foot on the surface of the moon, is widely popular. – Armstrong’s famous words
The historic landing site is now called the Sea of Tranquility.
This landmark event was watched on television by half a billion people.
Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas are the key places that are hosting exhibits to mark the anniversary of the historic moment.
Kennedy Space Centre was the place from where Armstrong, Aldrin, and Michael Collins, the third crew member took off for the moon 50 years ago.
Michael Collins, now aged 88, spoke at a Washington event on July 18, recollecting his experience of watching the Moon up close and the Earth from the lunar sphere. Collins had stayed in the lunar orbit where he was in touch with ground control and was providing them updates on his position.
He stated that he was most affected by the awe-inspiring view of the Earth from the Moon.
When we rolled out and looked at (the Moon), oh, it was an awesome sphere…The Sun was behind it, so it was illuminated by a rim of gold which made the strangest appearances of the craters and crater pits, the contrast between the whiter than white and darker than dark. – Speaking on the Moon, Collins
In spite of this magnificent view of the Moon, it was “nothing compared to this other window out there,” Collins continued.
“Out there was this little pea about the size of your thumbnail at arm’s length: blue, white, very shiny, you get the blue of the oceans, white of the clouds, streaks of rust we call continents, such a beautiful gorgeous tiny thing, nestled into this black velvet of the rest of the universe… I said to Mission control, ‘Hey, Houston, I’ve got the world in my window.'”
Now, NASA is working on its next lunar project, Artemis, a name of significance because Artemis, the Greek Goddess of Moon, is the twin sister of Apollo, the Greek God of sun, prophecy, poetry, and music.
The Artemis project was unveiled this May and has been described by NASA as ‘the first step into the next era of exploration’ because it involves sending humans to Mars from the lunar surface.
NASA has planned to step on the moon again by 2024, and this time they plan to land the first woman on Moon.
However, the first woman on Moon is to spend only a few hours on the lunar surface, the goal is to demonstrate that humans can be landed and returned from the south pole of the Moon.
The main goal of NASA is to ensure astronauts’ travel to Mars.
NASA plans to make the Moon a ‘testing ground’ where they can develop their technologies and deploy astronauts for longer periods of time.
NASA website states that “As a result of Artemis, NASA will be able to establish a sustainable human presence on the moon by 2028 to uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advancements, and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy.”