Did you know that in 1961 President John F. Kennedy announced a national goal of “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth” by the end of the 1960’s? For years, engineers and scientists worked very hard to design, test, and improve new technology and spacecraft that could safely bring American astronauts to the Moon and back. On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission launched with 3 astronauts on board. On July 20th, 2 of the astronauts landed and walked on the surface of the Moon. On July 24th, all 3 astronauts returned to and landed safely on Earth.
We hope that you have an ambitious day at school today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Earlier in the year, in April 1961, Yuri Gargarin, a Soviet cosmonaut, became the first person to fly in space. The American government feared being left behind in the ‘space race’.
It is estimated that one fifth of the world’s population watched the live transmission of the Apollo 11 moonwalk.
President Kennedy’ declaration was not the beginning of NASA’s space programs. Many programs, such as Project Mercury, were already in place. However, the declaration did give NASA the funding to expand its resources and scope. For example, funding made the construction of the Johnson and Kennedy Space Centers possible.
The race to put a man on the Moon led to many incidental advances in technology such as rocketry; telecommunications; computers and integrated circuitry; and the equipment and control systems used in aircraft, spacecraft, and satellites. As of 2015, more than 1800 ‘spinoff’ products have their roots in the Apollo program.