AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Things You May Not Know about the Apollo 11 Mission (Abstract)

Volume 47 number 2 (2019)

Randy Attwood
Executive Director, RASC

Abstract

(Abstract only) The 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing happens this summer. There will be much coverage, but perhaps little or no coverage of some of the aspects of the mission that you may not have heard before. For example, what changes were made to the lunar module while it stood on the launch pad as a result of issues found during the Apollo 10 mission in May 1969? Why was there nearly no television from the Moon during the moonwalk? Why was Armstrong chosen to take the first steps on the Moon? Why are there no good pictures of him standing on the lunar surface? Finally, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin faced five problems during the landing, each of which, if not resolved by the crew and Mission Control, could have meant no lunar landing. What were they?