On July 20 each year, we celebrate National Moon Day to honor an incredible accomplishment of mankind—the first man to walk on the moon.
About the landing
The 60’s was a pretty monumental time for space travel and was an era of intense research for America . NASA inched their way from simply making it into space, to orbiting earth and safely returning, to interest in what no one in history had done before: land on the moon. With that goal in mind, the US because the first country to send a man to the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.
This year is the 49th anniversary of the first moon landing by the Apollo 11 mission. The trip was conducted by three astronauts—Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. The astronauts were to land, walk, and collect samples from the moon to bring back home to earth. Michael Collins orbited the moon while Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong spent roughly two and a half hours roaming this new and uncharted territory as the entire world watched live on television.
Live from the moon
In 2018, it’s easy to take seemingly basic technology for granted. But if you think about how difficult it must have been to view a live broadcast from the moon in 1969, you can imagine how many improvements had to be made ahead of time so that the public could watch.
NASA had 3 radio telescopes spread throughout the world in order to receive footage of the landing from space. During the first few minutes of the landing, NASA switched from images between all of the radio telescopes to see which was the best and finally stuck with the Parkes Radio telescope located in Australia.
The reason the footage was the best there, was actually due to the fact that the schedule of the moonwalk had changed. The moonrise was supposed to occur over the US, but instead, because of the time set back, the moonrise ended up over Australia.
After a successful landing on the moon, the journey was not nearly over until the astronauts returned safely home to earth. On July 24, the astronauts landed in Honolulu, Hawaii. Though they had just changed the world forever and accomplished one of the proudest feats in American history, the astronauts were still asked to fill out information for customs and declaration because they technically just flew into Hawaii! It’s probably safe to say they were first people to declare that their departure was from the moon.
The goal Americans had set to land on the moon truly drove science and technological advances into motion fairly quickly. Not only were we able to visit the moon, but we were able to see it all happen live, forever changing the world of broadcasting.
This July 20 take a moment to look up, and know that 49 years ago a human was walking among the stars.