The the moon and returning him safely to
Posted On May 29, 2019
The Apollo 11 space mission greatly influenced studies of space, as well as motivation and determination in our everyday lives. The thought of safely putting a man on the moon seemed to be something only dreamt of. The act of doing the impossible showed that if we put our minds to something, we can achieve it. Anything can be a reality through tremendous efforts. The Apollo 11 space mission is a fantastic example. The way humans take on everyday tasks may have been influenced by the mindset of never giving up and always trying your best. The construction of Apollo 11 was deemed impossible, but the collaboration of hardworking people showed that any obstacle can be overcome by not giving up.The challenge of putting a man on the moon was no easy task, but the Apollo program dealt with all the challenges extremely well. The end goal of Apollo 11 was to safely put a man on the moon before the end of the 1960’s. John F. Kennedy stated, “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth” (History Staff). The Space Race between the Americans and Soviets lit the fuse of space travel. JFK made a promise that the Americans would put a man on the moon; there was no turning back. The Apollo program began in 1966 and progressed until the landing of Apollo 11. There were challenges, however, that were unimaginably challenging for the Apollo space program. For instance, “… Tragedy struck at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when a fire broke out during a manned launch pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire” (History Staff). The Apollo program did not go a full three years without obstacles. Apollo 11 was a result of people working hard every day of the week for three years. The fire is only one example of a major setback, but nothing stopped NASA. Apollo is a great example of the saying that hard work really does pay off in the end (Encyclopedia Britannica). The Apollo program was a tough road to success, but the tough work people put into on the Apollo 11 shuttles made it all worth it.The space modules NASA used for the Apollo 11 mission had to be able to hold enough fuel for the route, but more importantly, the shuttles had to keep the astronauts safe while reentering the Earth’s atmosphere. The original thought of the mission evolved because of the challenges they faced. The original plan was that “… They’d be going straight to the moon with one spacecraft, land, and come straight back. Instead, as the plan evolved, it called for two very different crafts: a command and service module for flight and a lunar module to land on the surface” (Thimmesh 11). Apollo 11 had the tough mission of safely putting a man on the moon and bringing him back. The space shuttles had to be designed so the ascent stage and descent stage would be smooth. This called for only one solution; the Eagle and Columbia modules. Each module was designed to give NASA the best chance of success (Apollo 11 Mission). The building of the Eagle and Columbia was a well thought-out process due to the complexity of the requirements. As once stated, “Space… it’s dangerous out there: micrometeoroids, radiation, airlessness. And coming home would be no picnic either. The compact-car-sized space capsule would be greeted by searing white-hot flames as it slammed madly back down to earth” (Thimmesh 12). The main thing on mind while creating the command module was keeping the crew alive. Though the Eagle needed to land them on the moon, the Columbia would face reentry of Earth’s atmosphere. The command module was constructed by 14,000 engineers and over 8,000 companies. The challenge of reentry of the atmosphere was not taken lightly, but everybody worked to make it possible (Apollo 11 Mission). The command module was built to keep the crew alive, but the voyage was the only true test.The trip to the moon put everyone’s prior hard work to the test, but the mission was not over yet. The engineering work was nearly completed, but the job has only begun for the Launch Control Center (LCC) workers. The day history began in the making, “… Ernie Reyes and about five hundred other workers would work the consoles from the firing room of the Launch Control Center, the nucleus of the launch operations” (Thimmesh 13). Apollo 11 launched into orbit of the Earth after countdown to begin the long voyage. After completing one and one half orbits of the Earth, the crew got a signal to head towards the moon. This is called translunar injection. The crew back on Earth began to run into challenging decisions that swayed the potential success of the mission (July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap). The last ten miles of the voyage proved that space travel is not easy. During the Maiden Voyage, “… Their spacecraft had only about 80 seconds of fuel left in its descent tank. If the fuel ran out, the entire mission would have to be abruptly aborted- a disappointing and dangerous prospect” (Dell 4). The Maiden Voyage, final ten miles, took action when the cred declared it was time for the Eagle and Columbia to separate. Gene Kranz was the Flight Director on duty when the Maiden Voyage took place. Because he had to be there, he took the stairs. The Eagle’s computer began to overload and Gene was very overwhelmed (July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap). The voyage transitioned from smooth to bumpy in a matter of seconds, but the true challenge would be the landing that is about to occur.Landing the Eagle on the moon was not only the most stressful part of the mission, but almost all of it was out of the crews’ hands. The landing itself could end all hopes of the mission in one second. If the landing gear failed, “… Very serious problems could arise. The worst would be toppling over. That would make it impossible for the astronauts to leave the moon” (Dell 6). The mission included landing a man on the moon and bringing him back safely. Scenarios like toppling over while landing and landing material striking objects would ruin both included tasks. All the work and training would be put to the test in the final seconds (Bean 6-13). The Eagle was safe of debris and danger, but the autopilot was landing the Eagle in a crater field. When Armstrong looked out the window, he saw, “… That the computer was taking them straight into a giant crater” (Bean 43). Almost the entire trip went just as planned, but this autopilot could end it with a possibility of aborting the landing. Armstrong was not about to let that happen, so he took control. It began to get tense, but with just 100 feet to land, Armstrong found a spot and stated that the Eagle has landed (Dell 40-45). The descent stage was very intense, but through quick-thinking and initiative, all was well.The moon landing of Apollo 11 was only made possible through those in the background. The team of experts in Mission Control were just as crucial to success as the astronauts. In short terms, “… There weren’t just three people flying every Apollo mission, there were dozens” (Bean 41). The command and lunar module allowed this mission to occur, but the problems dealt with by Mission Control allowed the mission to continue. Each expert had a screen portraying important information about the flight. In many cases, the people in MIssion Operations Control Room (MOCR) knew more about the shuttle than Armstrong and Aldrin did (Bean 40-43). Gene Kranz and his crew in MOCR may be the only reason we think so highly of Neil Armstrong. All that everyone has worked for could end, but Mission Control radioed in, “Keep going” (Bean 43). The computers were going crazy and these alarms were not classified. Steve Bales had to decide if the Eagle should land or abort, and he was overwhelmed. He called Gene over and the astronauts were told to continue. This was an unknown risk, but one that changed history forever (Thimmesh 18). Though we think of astronauts as the heroes of the moon, the MOCR deserves just as much credit.Apollo 11 was no easy mission at any point, but everybody working to make it happen always had assistance in their struggles. The space launch took much more time than the eight days in flight, but the way all of the crew came together in crunch time shows a great example of determination. Now, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” (Dell 12).