The first men who walked on the Moon were Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, who arrived with the Apollo 11 aircraft. Almost everybody knows that about the first moon landing, but there are a lot of unknown facts. Of course, there is the theory that it was all a hoax, but here are 10 unknown facts about the official version of the story.
10. The Astronomers filled out US customs forms on their return
US Customs made Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins fill out a form for bringing rocks and dust from the Moon into the United States on July 24, 1969. This is the same day they landed in the Pacific Ocean around Hawaii. The flight route was listed as Cape Kennedy, Florida, to the Moon and finally to Honolulu, Hawaii. The astronauts described their cargo as “Moon rock and Moon dust samples”. The section about possible diseases was filled as “to be determined” as the US authorities did not know if the Apollo 11 crew had any illnesses.
9. Apollo 11 crew dropped trash on the Moon
Neil Armstrong is the first man who walked on the Moon, but also the first man who threw garbage on the Moon. The bag of trash can be seen on the first picture he took. The astronauts also left some tools to make room for the rocks and dust they collected. The descent stage of the lunar module that was only useful for landing was also left on the Moon along with the trash and tools. The probably remain there to this day.
8. President Nixon prepared a speech in case the astronauts could not return
President Richard Nixon had a speech prepared in case the Apollo 11 crew could not return to Earth. It is said that NASA worried that lunar module could fail to take off, malfunction midway and crash or that it might not reattach itself to the command module. These possibilities would meant death for the astronauts, so Nixon had to be prepared to address the nation with the bitter news. The preparations were made one month before the beginning of the mission.
7. The Third Apollo 11 Astronaut Never Landed Or Walked On The Moon
Michael Collins, the third astronaut on the Apollo 11 mission remained in the command module of the spacecraft, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended with the lunar module. He had to control the command module and take pictures of the moon. Collins would have returned to Earth by himself if Aldrin and Armstrong had gotten stuck on the Moon.
6. There Is Only One Full-Body Picture Of Neil Armstrong On The Moon
Most of the pictures taken during the expedition on the surface of the moon were of Buzz Aldrin because Neil Armstrong was taking most of the photos. On the only full-body picture of Armstrong he can be seen working with the back to the camera.
5. That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind
Did Neil Armstrong say, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” or “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”? The difference between both is the presence of “a” between “for” and “man”. The accepted version in general is without an “a” although Armstrong insisted that he added it. The presence or absence of the letter “a” changes the meaning of the quote. “Man” refers to humanity in general, but “a man” refers to one man – Neil Armstrong. The radio connection was not the greatest so we will probably never know for sure.
4. Flag dispute
Two different companies claim that they made the US flah which was planted on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. NASA once hinted but has not confirmed that it purchased the flag from Sears. In that case, the flag would have been made by Annin, which supplied US flags to Sears at the time. However, NASA engineer Jack Kinzler wrote that the flag was purchased from a government catalog. If that is true, it would have been from Valley Forge, which supplied the government.
3. The astronauts could not get life insurance, but they did something else
Knowing that they may not return back alive, the astronauts wanted to take a life insurance, but it would have been extremely expensive. Instead of that, they signed autographs that their families could sell after their deaths. The crew was famous long before they left Earth, so there were a lot of fans who requested autographs. In case they did not return, the value of the autographs would have skyrocketed.
2. Buzz Aldrin Took The First Holy Communion On The Moon
After the lunar module landed, and the astronauts rested, Buzz Aldrin used the opportunity to take the first Holy Communion on the Moon. He radioed Houston and requested a moment of silence. Aldrin asked the listeners to think about the Moon landing “and give thanks in their own individual way”. Then he poured wine on a piece of bread and ate it. This also marked the first time that someone ate on the Moon.
1. The astronauts were quarantined when they returned to Earth
After the crew returner to Earth, the astronauts were were quarantined for three weeks before they were allowed to walk freely. NASA took this precautionary measure because they were not sure if the Moon contained some deadly microorganisms. Because of that the crew was quarantined while the samples and their equipment was thoroughly examined. The practise was stopped with the Apollo 15 mission.