The Moon landing: the world 50 years later

Moon

The Moon landing took place the 20th July of the 1969 at 8:17 pm. The whole world was setted with the old cathode ray tube televisions, many were still in black and white, on the news that showed the event.

Six hours later, for the first time, a human being set a foot on the Moon. Neil Armstrong, by wearing his heavy white suit, led a strong footprint on the layer of lunar dust. Nineteen minuts later Buzz Aldrin followed him, he and Neil started their lunar walk looking for rocks to bring back on Earth.

moon landing
The astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins

Many pictures arrived from the mission, where there is mostly Aldrin, because the photograher was Armstrong reflected only sometimes on the helmet of the colleague. Around them the module Eagle orbited around the satellite, with Michael Collins in command, the third member of the crew.

After a coming home travel four days long, the same time spent for going, the crew landed on the Pacific Ocean the 24th of July.

Why the Moon landing?

Between the ’50s and the ’70s the world were looking to a real space race, a fight between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the middle of that there was even the Cold War which increased the policy pressures and the challenge between the two countries.

Moon landing
The dog Laika

During this period to the space conquer many proofs have been made and between the others even the first animals have been launched. The first one was the dog Laika that in the 1957 died while coming back with the Sputnik 2, then was the time of the monkey Enos in the 1961, that came back saved.

The program Apollo, which was mainly born as a tehcnological challenge between the two policy forces, turned out instead to be an incredible step forward for the science.

Did the Moon landing take place?

There are some theories that believe that the Moon landing was a complex fiction, which was mainly born to discretid the United States about the result before than the URSS.

Still today many believe that it never happened. In a video which dates back to the 2002, Buzz Aldrin punched a conspiracy theories that shouted at him by calling him lier and frauder. The video was released on the web during the fifty anniversary of the moon landing.

The first doubts about the Moon landing are about the flag planted by Armstrong and Aldrin: it seems tense and lightly waving, while, due to the low gravity, it might fall down soft. Since here many were the theories, the first of all see the usage of a set to film the moon landing. The flag just had two rods that allowed it to stay strentched and it waved thanks to the hits while it was planted on the ground.

Moon landing
Neil and Buzz set the flag

Another thing that arose suspects was right the famous footprint, which didn’t have to have that aspect and appear so clear. But the astronauts weared shoes made right for the lunar walking and the regolith, which covers the lunar surface, is a dusty material with high electrostatic charge that results really compact even in presence of low gravity.

Other doubts about the Moon landing were about the fact that the sky appeared black and not blue, and that there were no stars. The first doubt is quickly solved by the absence of atmosphere, which doesn’t allow so the phenomenon of the light spreading in its wave lenght and that allow the high frequencies (and so the blue light) in the terrestrial sky. The stars, instead, aren’t visible because the moon landing took place in the lighted side of the satellite, so as well as on the Earth, during the day isn’t possible to see them.

50 years of experiments

From the 1969 to the 1972, twelve astronauts (all americans) arrived on the Moon. After six missions, though, the interest for our satellite dropped down, due that the challenge with the russians were largely won. We had to wait unti the 1990, when Japan sent the probe Hiten, fully robotic, on the Moon.

No men on the Moon in the 1994 neither, when to go visit it was just Clementine, a spacial vehicle that had to experiment the effects of the long exposition to the space of its own components. When Clementine found tracks of ice on the lunar craters, though, the interest for the satellite come again.

In the 2003 the ESA launched the first european probe, the SMART-1, while in the 2007 the Japanese Space Agency launches SELENE to further map the lunar surface. In the 2019, finally, the China sent a lander and a rover on the dark side of the Moon, the less explored, by saying that they would like to build a base on the Earth’s satellite.

As answer the United States said that they want to come back with a human crew and to realize a spacial base from which the future travels to Mars could start.

After 50 years from the Moon landing a new mission is waiting for us

With a travel of just six hours, the 22nd of July Luca Parmitano, italian astronaut, arrived with the Soyuz MS-13 on the International Space Station (ISS). Parmitano, astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA), together with the american Andrew Morgan and the russian Alexander Skvortsov start the mission Beyond. The mission is right to collect material and datas for the next travels on the Moon and Mars.

Luca Parmitano
Luca Parmitano

During the 166 days of stay the astronauts will do more than 50 experiments, between which the testing of the system Life Support Rack. This system should allow to transform the carbone dioxide in oxygen, to can extend the future space missions. Parmitano, furthermore will even cover the role of commander of the ISS, it’s the first time for an italian astronaut.

This post is also available in: itItaliano

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