In 1969, NASA launched Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin up into space on the Apollo 11 Mission. The purpose of this space expedition was to land men on the surface of the moon while also returning them back to Earth safely.
The Crew of the Apollo 11 Misson
The computing power of the average cell phone today exceeds the technology used in the spacecraft. However, everything used for the Apollo 11 mission had its first test run in space during this mission. Basically, everything had to be created in order to fulfill the goals the space mission.
Lunar Module - The lunar module was the very first spacecraft designed to operate on the moon. It had a unique shape (lots of strange bumps and angles) because normal aerodynamic features that would be used, were not necessary because of the lack of atmosphere in space. The lunar module was successfully used in the space mission of Apollo 11.
Spacesuits - The suits used were very complex and were custom made for each astronaut. The suits had several layers including a layer made up of cooling tubes, nylon, kapton, glass-fiber cloth, mylar, and teflon. All these layers were used to maintain pressure for the astronauts and kept them safe from radiation. Lunar gloves and boots were used to allow the astronauts to walk on the moon and pick up rocks. Each suit also included a portable life support system and a helmet.
Computers - Two major computers utilized during the space mission included the Lunar module computer and the command module computer. The lunar module computer was used during landings and ascents. The lunar module during Apollo 11 was known as the Eagle. The command module computer was used to navigate the crew between the moon and the Earth.
What Did We Get Out of Apollo 11
We learned a lot about the moon as well as our own planet Earth. Before Apollo, the moon was under speculation for what it actually was. It was discovered to be made up of rocks that have been melted repeatedly and crushed by meteorite impacts. For example, the youngest moon rocks were as old as the oldest rocks on Earth and that the moon has no life on it. No living organisms or any fossils showcasing past life on the moon. The surface of the moon was able to tell us the unique radiation history of the sun. (The knowledge of the surface of the moon helped us to understand climate changes happening on Earth.) Also, a lot of products and inventions were created using materials and technologies created for the space program such as smoke detectors, joystick video game controllers, shock absorbent materials, as well as cordless power tools.