MOON SHOTS

Reader's Digest International - - Contents - BY PATRICIE FEXOVÁ IM­AGES COURTESY OF NASA

Fifty-six years ago, U.S. Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy an­nounced his goal of putting a man on the moon. The first Saturn rocket (SA–1) was launched Oc­to­ber 27, 1961.

Fifty-six years ago, U.S. Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy an­nounced his goal

of putting a man on the moon.

The first Saturn rocket (SA–1) was launched

Oc­to­ber 27, 1961.

Project Apollo was un­der way.

APOLLO WAS THE GREEK GOD of archery, mu­sic and, most sig­nif­i­cantly, he was god of the sun. The space­craft named af­ter him was de­signed to take three as­tro­nauts to the moon’s or­bit, where it would re­lease a lu­nar mod­ule with two as­tro­nauts aboard to land on the moon. Af­ter two days, the mod­ule would lift off and bring them back to or­bit, and all crew would re­turn to earth. In 1967, a flash fire in the first manned Apollo Saturn flight dur­ing launch re­hearsal killed the three as­tro­nauts aboard. The Apollo 1 mis­sion com­mem­o­ra­tive medal­lion is de­picted.

APOLLO SPACE­CRAFT WERE LIFTED BY Saturn rock­ets. Ini­tially, the rock­ets car­ried only func­tional stages of the space­craft as it was be­ing de­vel­oped, then later lifted an un­manned Apollo space­craft into Earth’s or­bit. Start­ing in 1968, Apollo mis­sions were manned. Above: pho­to­graphs taken aboard Apollo 9 show the crew en­joy­ing their ten-day stay in earth’s or­bit. More dis­tant views of earth were cap­tured on mis­sions to the moon. (In the circle is a pho­to­graph by the Apollo 10 crew.)

APOLLO 11 LANDED ON THE MOON on July 20, 1969. The spe­cially de­signed fold­ing Amer­i­can flag was planted to­gether by Neil Arm­strong and Ed­win “Buzz” Aldrin. How­ever the very first “flag” on the moon’s sur­face, which Aldrin is in­stalling above, was the So­lar Wind Com­po­si­tion Ex­per­i­ment. In the Swiss-led ex­per­i­ment, Apollo as­tro­nauts on the moon ex­posed an alu­minum foil sheet to the flow of charged par­ti­cles emit­ted by the sun and then brought the foils back to earth for sci­en­tific anal­y­sis, along with sev­eral tens of kilo­grams of moon rocks.

IN 1970, APOLLO 13 CAN­CELED its moon land­ing af­ter an oxy­gen tank ex­ploded, dam­ag­ing the ship. The crew used the lu­nar mod­ule as their “lifeboat.” Above, en­gi­neers on the ground im­pro­vise a way to re­move car­bon diox­ide from the mod­ule—such that the as­tro­nauts could con­struct on board. They nick­named the de­vice a “mail­box.” The suc­cess­ful splash­down is pic­tured. The 1995 film Apollo 13 is based on the book Lost Moon writ­ten by mis­sion com­man­der Jim Lovell.

FOUR MORE MIS­SIONS FOL­LOWED. Apollo 15 as­tro­nauts stayed on the moon for three days and used a lu­nar rover, which Eu­gene Cer­nan of Apollo 17 (1972) is driv­ing above. So far, he re­mains the last per­son who has walked on the moon. Thanks to space-his­tory fan Kipp Teague and NASA’s co­op­er­a­tion, thou­sands of pho­to­graphs taken by Apollo as­tro­nauts are on the In­ter­net. They are unedited, large, and free to view or down­load. Take your own moon ride!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.