I have always been a fan of the space program. I followed every mission from the first Mercury flights through the Gemini missions and of course Apollo. The moon landing 52nd anniversary is this month. In 1969 Apollo 11 launched on July 16 and landed on the moon on July 20. It was a great event that took over 400,000 scientists, engineers, and technicians to do. I can still remember listening to that landing and watching those first steps.
Here are a few lesser-known facts:
- The lunar lander had less than 30 sec. of fuel left when it landed.
- President Nixon had two speeches prepared. One if they made it and one if they didn’t.
- Your toaster is more advanced than Apollo 11’s command module computer.
- They landed 4 miles from their target due to avoiding boulders and computer issues.
- The circuit breaker switch to launch the Eagle off the moon broke off, so Aldrin jammed a felt tip pen down the hole at the proper time and hit it to ignite the engine. Aldrin kept the pen and the broken switch.
- The iPhone is more than 32,600 times faster than the best Apollo era computers and can perform instructions 120,000,000 times faster.