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Apollo 11

Author: Emily Jiang

Editors: Hwi-On Lee and Rachel Chen

Artist: Tracy Xu

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” These were Neil Armstrong’s famous first words on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission, the first human moon landing event in history. This historic event set the stage for further space exploration and paved the way for innovations. But why exactly did the whole world have a sudden interest in getting to the moon? The answer lies in the tensions between the US and the USSR after World War 2. With differing ideologies of capitalism and communism, each nation wanted to prove superiority over the other. Apart from propaganda, the arms race, and spies, they also competed for dominance in the space race. Both countries invested massive amounts of money in their space programs to reach the moon first until eventually, in 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon, marking the United States’ victory in the space race. The astronauts who were the backbone of the mission were Neil Armstrong, the Commander, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., the Lunar Module Pilot, and Michael Collins, the Command Module Pilot.

But how exactly was this ground-breaking achievement attained? The Saturn V rocket was the vehicle manned to get to the moon. The Apollo Spacecraft, which was on top of Saturn V, consisted of three parts: the service module, the command module, and the lunar module. The command module was where the three astronauts lived and was also the only component to return to Earth. The Saturn V rocket was used to launch the Apollo spacecraft, propelling it into space. The Saturn V rocket had three stages, and in each stage, the engines would burn all of their fuel and detach from the rocket. Then, the engines of the next stage would repeat this cycle. The first stage put the spacecraft 42 miles up in the air, the second stage put the spacecraft close to orbit, and the final third stage put the spacecraft into orbit and thrust it towards the moon. To return to Earth, the remaining spacecraft needed to leave the lunar orbit, and the Service Module detached from the Command Module. Then, parachutes deployed, helping Apollo 11 land in the Pacific Ocean.

The Apollo 11 Mission was one of the most significant events in human history, showcasing human ingenuity, sparking scientific curiosity, and impacting the world as we know it.



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