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Apollo 1, Apollo 7, Apollo8, Apollo 9, Apollo 10. Everything has led up to this, the Apollo 11 launch. The mission to finally send men to the moon and bring them back safely. Everything was prepared. In the USA at Cape Kennedy, exactly on the 16th of July 1969, 11:32 pm GMT+10. Us astronauts were ready, months of preparation and years of training had led us up to this, 10,9,8…3,2,1, LAUNCH!!! This was the most important space mission in the history of mankind, this was going to be the first time mankind was going to land on an extraterrestrial satellite. And I’m going to be a part of it. I was going to be on Apollo 11, the most important step in space exploration for mankind, and I will be one of the first people to go to the moon, even if I may never touch it.
This was the USA’s biggest mission in space exploration yet, a feat so great that many thought it to be impossible. The crew members consisted of Commander Neil Armstrong, Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr (Buzz Aldrin), and myself, Micheal Collins. Communication with Earth was going to be difficult but it would only take a few seconds for the signals to send, The PLSS life support backpack we had were going to have radios attached for us to communicate with Earth during our mission which would last approximately 8 days (the final time was 8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds to get to the moon, it took our crew around 72 hours to land back on Earth.) Many people already believed that the mission wasn’t worth the funding, and riots began, it was the biggest problem of Apollo 11, it was the people that had lost belief in the program.
The two most difficult hurdles for us to get over were going to be the docking process and the amount of fuel. The Mercury 8 had proved that the docking was a very possible process, however, it required pinpoint precision. And it was my job. The docking was going to be at speeds faster than most aircraft on earth while in zero gravity. One mistake. One angle difference. Could cost all the lives of the crew members. But it was worth the risk. We separated from the command module and rotated the lunar module around. A stop, and now we separated from the ship that we were going to dock with. The ship was now in my control completely, I moved the aircraft slowly, slowly, and we touched. The spaceship docked and we were ready to go on full speed toward the moon.
Day 3. We had entered lunar orbit, it was time for me to unlock the lunar module for Armstong and Aldrin to go on forward. But out of nowhere, BANG! The ship had made contact with something. It wasn’t a large object, but more kept coming. We’re being hit with tiny pellets of space rocks, but at such speeds it was dangerous. We had to get out of there quickly. I had the most difficult job at the moment and I was in charge of the docking and undocking process. I slowly detached the lunar module that Armstrong and Aldrin were in. Separated, they continued their path to the moon as the ship was now spinning recklessly, luckily our training had taught us well and although I was close to being unconscious, I got the ship under control and waited patiently for their safe return. I was sure the mission was going to be a success. I had complete faith in the commander and Aldrin, they were the ones who were going to carry out the greatest space mission in human history, not me. But somehow the fact that I wasn’t going to be the one going down in history or majorly famous didn’t bother me. Those two trained hard, harder than anyone, and they deserved to stand on the moon, to be the first ones to stand on the moon. Just the fact that I was a part of something larger than myself satisfied me.
The two astronauts only had a limited amount of fuel to get to the moon and have enough to return to the command module. They lowered the aircraft to the planned landing spot. But instead of the flat surface, they were shown, it was a jagged mountain, the signals were incorrect, and their landing spot was at least 200 meters more to the left than planned! Buzz immediately reached for the abort button but the commander stayed calm even though there was only barely enough fuel to get by. Fuel tank at 10, 9, 8, 7…2,1. It was an emergency landing but the Lunar module finally landed on the moon’s surface. “The Eagle has landed.” and those words that would go down in history were said. “One small step for man, one huge leap for mankind.”
In two and a half hours, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin collected 21.8 kilograms of rock and lunar debris, traversed the lunar surface a total distance of ~1–2 kilometers, and deployed experiments. These instruments made measurements of the soil mechanics of the surface. The mission successfully demonstrated how humans can explore the Moon and other planetary bodies, and involved big lessons in spacesuit design for later generations. After they had done everything they could to help with further research and discoveries they returned to the command module in the lunar module and I once again docked the two. We set course for our home, the blue planet we neer thought we’d miss so much. We entered the Earth’s atmosphere and on the 24th of July 1969, we landed in the pacific. The success of our mission sent waves across the world. We had won the space race, we had won over the people, but most importantly we made history that day. We paved a path for the future of mankind. We broke through all the doubts and impossibilities. We made so many new discoveries about the rocks on the moon and the craters too. We handed all the collected substances to the NASA team, we succeeded in all the areas imaginable. The mission showed that the Moon formed hot, that it was magnetically active for at least 800 million years, and that the surface blanket of dusty rubble contains evidence of how the Moon formed as well as having the instruments show us that the moon had a crust, mantle and core just like the earth unlike we previously thought.
It was so incredible to think that we made so many technological advancements in such a short amount of time. At the beginning of the century we could barely communicate from a few blocks away, and now to think that we just got back from the moon! THE MOON! The spacecraft’s engineering was ingenious, and the splitting of the command module and the rocket was absolutely genius (The rockets today still follow roughly the same design.) And the spacesuit’s design was very hard to top and probably won’t change for a long time (The fun fact it actually hadn’t been changed until the recent SpaceX missions.) We made history today, a history that will never be forgotten.
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