15 Out of This World Moon Landing Facts
How much do you know about the moon landing in 1969? Find out with these incredible moon landing facts! Learn all about the mission and what happened on the moon!
Have you ever looked up at the moon and thought 'I wonder what its like up there'? Well, wonder no more! We've put together this ace list of facts all about the moon landing and what happened the very first time people set foot on the moon! Find out when it happened, how long it takes to get there, and who had a wee on the moon! And if you enjoyed this, why not check out these super space facts? Or if you're in the mood for a moon-themed laugh, we've also got these astronaut jokes! And if you fancy something a bit more terrestrial, check out this Earth quiz!
1. The First Moon Landing was in 1969
Before 1969, no one had ever attempted to go to the moon. There had been un-manned missions to the moon, and missions into space, but no one yet had actually landed there. NASA and the USA were determined to be the first.
2. Three Men Went to the Moon
Neil Armstrong is probably the most famous, but he was joined by two other astronauts - Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Only Buzz and Neil actually walked on the surface though.
3. The USA and the USSR Were in a 'Space Race'
In the 1960s, the USA was engaged in what was known as the Cold War with the USSR (led by present day Russia). This mean both countries were very competitive about their space technology. The USSR had already broken lots of records, including the first person in space, so the USA were determined to get to the moon before them.
4. It Was Televised
In the 1960s TV was still a fairly new thing in people's homes, and the moon landing broadcast was especially exciting. About 650 million people around the world watched as Neil Armstrong took his first steps - you might even have a relative who remembers it!
5. Neil Armstrong Got His Speech Slightly Wrong
Neil Armstrong was supposed to say 'That's one small step for A man, one giant leap for mankind', but he missed out the 'a'. The rest is history! Bet Neil was hoping nobody noticed!
6. The Voyage Took 4 Days
It takes a while to get to the moon! It's about 384,400 km from Earth! Even in a super fast rocket ship, it takes a while to actually get there, although you're still going over 9,000km a day!
7. Some Very Clever Women Helped Make the Moon Landing Possible
Just because women have never been to the moon doesn't mean it would be possible to get there without them! Mathematician Katherine Johnson was one of the people who's calculations about how the space craft needed to launch and land were crucial to the mission. She was also one of the first African American female NASA scientists. Computer scientist Margaret Hamilton was also very important - she wrote the code that allowed the mission to happen!
8. Buzz Aldrin Had a Wee on the Moon
Well, when you gotta go, you gotta go! Buzz Aldrin felt the call of nature while he was walking on the moon, and had a wee using a special tube in his suit! That meant he had to spent the rest of the walk with his wee sloshing around in a bag next to him! Nice!
9. The Apollo 11 was Made Up of Several Parts
Apollo 11 wasn't just one big space ship - it was actually made up of several smaller components - a rocket to get out of the Earth's atmosphere, a command module (which went back to Earth), a service module (with everything the astronauts needed) and a lunar module (for all the, y'know, moon stuff).
10. The Mission Was For Science
As well as competing with the USSR in the space race, NASA had scientific reasons for wanting to go to the moon - they felt that it could provide them with valuable knowledge about space, the solar system and other things. Astronauts collected samples of moon rock while they were there to be tested back on Earth.
11. They Nearly Ran Out of Fuel
According to the astronauts themselves, the ship had only seconds of fuel left as it landed on the moon - just enough to get them there! Luckily it all went smoothly, or the moon landing would be remembered for very different reasons.
12. There is Way Less Gravity on The Moon
The moon, like Earth, has its own field of gravity, but because its smaller, it has a bit less - only 1/6th as much as the Earth! That means you can bounce around in the sky, and if you jump, it'll take you much longer to come down!
13. They Left a Flag on the Moon
The USA wanted everyone to know they got their first (Which is very USA of them) and planted a big ol' stars and stripes on the moon. And it's still there - although it has a special pole to hold it up, because there's no wind on the moon!
14. The Return to Earth Was Not a Smooth Ride
Coming back to Earth was a bumpy landing. In fact, it was less of a landing and more of a crash - in the sea, to be precise. Apollo 11 splash landed in the Pacific ocean, as planned, on the 24th of July. But it also meant going back through the Earth's atmosphere at high speed - which was very dangerous! Luckily, all three astronauts made it.
15. There Have Been 6 Moon Landings
Between 1969 and 1972 there have been 6 missions to the moon with astronauts on board. But since 1972, there have been no more moon missions. Why not? Well, the same two reasons most nice things don't happen - politics and money. But that doesn't mean humans won't go back one day!