Apollo 11 Moon Landing: A Little Astronaut’s Guide

Apollo 11 Moon Landing: A Little Astronaut’s Guide
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Do you have any budding astronauts at home or in your classroom?

Then you probably already know that 20th July 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. To celebrate, we’re partnering with Lonely Planet Kids, who are running a fantastic competition to win a bundle of exciting prizes worth £185!

This competition has now ended! Thank you for all of your entries!

50 years might seem like a long time ago, but we can still see the effects of the Moon landing today. Have you ever used a joystick to play a video game? They were first built for the Lunar Rovers. NASA also created the first cordless tools for their astronauts to use in space.

We’ll be sharing lots of exciting posts about the Moon landings that kids can enjoy at home and at school, so be sure to check in with the blog.

To kick things off, we’ve put together a timeline of all the important things that happened to make the Moon landing possible. Perhaps it will give the little astronomers in your life a few ideas on how to launch their own exciting space missions?

12th September 1959 – Russian spacecraft Luna 2 became the first spacecraft to reach the Moon. It crashed there, but it’s okay; it was unmanned, meaning no-one was inside.

4th October 1959 – Luna 3, another Russian spacecraft, took pictures of the far side of the Moon; that’s the side you can’t see from Earth, because its always facing away from us. Before Luna 3 took pictures, we didn’t know what it looked like!

May 25th 1961 – The President of the United States, John F Kennedy promised to put a man on the Moon by the end of the decade and launched the Apollo programme.

27th January 1967 – An accident caused a fire on Apollo 1. Sadly, all three astronauts in the spacecraft died. NASA spent months making sure the accident wouldn’t happen again.

9th November 1967 – Apollo 4 was an unmanned test of the big Saturn V rocket; it flew up into orbit around Earth before coming back down and splashing down into the Pacific Ocean.

22nd January 1968 – Apollo 5 was a test of the Lunar Module, the part of the spaceship that would land on the Moon. Apollo 5 was unmanned too.

4th April 1968 – Apollo 6 was the last unmanned mission. The engines had some problems which meant that pieces fell off the spaceship as it took off. NASA fixed the problems before the next launch.

11th October 1968 – Apollo 7 was the first Apollo mission to take men into space. They tested the spaceship in orbit around Earth, and appeared on television before they came home.

21st December 1968 – Apollo 8 was the first mission to go to the Moon. They didn’t land, but they did go around the Moon ten times before coming home.

3rd March 1969 – Apollo 9 went to the Moon too, testing out the Lunar Module as they flew around the Moon.

18th May 1969 – Apollo 10 was the last practice before the real thing. This time, the Lunar Module flew down to the Moon, but didn’t land.

16th July 1969 Apollo 11 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, taking Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the Moon.

20th July 1969 Neil and Buzz landed on the Moon while Michael remained in orbit. Neil was the first man to walk on the Moon. When he stepped out of the Lunar Module, he said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

How many people do you think watched the moon landing on TV?

(scroll down for the answer!)

14th December 1972 – Apollo 17 leaves the Moon. It was the last Apollo mission and the last time that anyone walked on the Moon.

2024 – Artemis 3 will be the next spaceship to take people to land on the Moon. Who do you think should be the first person to walk on the Moon in over 50 years?

Use the Social Hashtag to share your thoughts: #Apollo50th

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How many people do you think watched the moon landing on TV?

ANSWER: It is estimated that 600 million people around the world watched the moon landing on TV!