The Eagle Has Landed - A Tribute To Astronaut Neil Armstrong
Announcing The Passing Away Of Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong - A Brief History
The Moon Landing Mission - Cape Kennedy - Preparing For Blast Off
Blast off was scheduled for the 16th of July at 09.32 hrs. It had to be on the dot, precision was of vital importance as it is, in all scientific and military operations.
In and around the area of the launching site everybody was rushing around attending to some specific task associated with the moon landing mission.
Scientists and technicians were working non-stop, tirelessly and with great motivation, as the excitement generated by this "first of it's kind" event was awesome beyond measure. Everybody with a task had a time frame within which to complete it.
Elsewhere, possibly somewhere in the vicinity, several hundreds of feet above the ground, the prototype of the 'Eagle' was on a test flight.
The 'Eagle' also known as the 'Lunar Module' or 'LEM,' was one of the components of Apollo11, the moon rocket.
The main body Apollo 11, consisted of three components, namely, the service module, the command module, and the lunar module.
It was the lunar module that was to detach itself from the main composition and descend to the lunar surface carrying the two astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin. This operation was set to take place after Apollo 11 enters lunar orbit.
To replace the lunar module for testing purposes on earth, scientists created a flying machine, calling it the 'Lunar Lander Research Vehicle.' This was the machine that Neil Armstrong was testing right now.
The 'Lunar Lander Research Vehicle' was designed to simulate conditions on the moon that the 'Eagle' would face when actually landing on the moon.
Armstrong Test Flying The Lunar Lander Research Vehicle - LLRV
The Lunar Module - LEM
All was going well when suddenly a problem surfaces. One of the engines of the LLRV fails. The machine started getting out of control and threatened to spin in all directions.
High up in the air, completely out of control it spins around for a while and then crashes exploding into smithereens! Observers on ground, had their eyes glued to the very spot up there for many moments, in a high state of shock and disbelief.
When the smoke cleared, what they noticed was a parachute that had just opened out! Just a wink before that moment of explosion Armstrong had ejected ... just in the nick of time.
A couple of minutes after what happened to be an "uneventful" test flight, Neil Alden Armstrong was back at his desk attending to his paperwork. This particular incident (or accident) brought out another of his latent talents, the ability to have saved his own life and the instinct that propelled him to eject at the right moment. He had already been selected for the mission out of several thousands of applicants.
Entering Lunar Orbit - A Sneak Peek Forward
The "Eagle," was the component of Apollo 11, the module that was to land on the moon after separating from the the mother craft on entering lunar orbit.
The on-board computer was programmed to completely control the trajectory of the Eagle until it touched down on the surface of the moon.
But, on that important day, immediately after un-docking took place, it was found that the on-board computer had failed.
Unable to process the incoming data, the computer system could not guide the Eagle to its landing spot.
Without proper guidance the only thing that could happen was, the module would aimlessly hover over the moon's surface and possibly crash land. However manual control had also been installed as an option. Read on ...
Blast Off From Cape Kennedy In Florida - July 16 1969
Story Behind Neil Armstrong, The First Man on the Moon
The Apollo 11 Space Program - One Small Step
Getting back to the main topic, many earthlings would agree that the most important phrase ever uttered by a human being is "One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind."
True enough this phrase spoken by Neil A Armstrong in July 1969 standing on lunar soil, is a very famous one and it certainly deserves more recognition than any other sentence spoken by any human being.
The importance of this phrase is underlined by the unique circumstances under which it was uttered, a victory that was celebrated by all human beings on planet earth.
This one remains unaltered to this day as in this case interpolation can never happen, and never was possible as this phrase was heard by millions of people from every part of the world.
This was a philosophical statement and not simply a report. A phrase that fitted the most important moment in the most important piece of exploration carried out by man.
Life Magazine Discussing The Apollo Mission
First On The Moon - A Voyage
Armstrong, Aldrin, And Collins - The Moon Mission
However there is another phrase associated with the same mission that should be considered much more important. A phrase which, if the situation at that crucial moment of the mission had not turned in favor of enabling its uttering, then, the most important phrase referred to previously, would never ever have been spoken.
In other words, if the situation had not occurred and the circumstances under which this particular phrase was uttered did not happen, then the situation would not have arisen for that important phrase "One Small Step ... One Giant Leap" to be uttered.
This phrase unlike the other was not the least philosophical. It was simply a report, a very important one indeed that was conveyed to the hundreds of anxious people at NASA who were part of the mission monitoring the progress of Apollo 11, the moon rocket carrying the three astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins.
One Small Step - The First Men On The Moon
- The Moon Landing - One Giant Leap
The Apollo 11 mission led by Neil Armstrong was indeed a great success enabling mankind to make that giant leap in the direction of progress. Read about the adventures of Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins in the Moon Landing program of July 19th 1969.
Landing On The Sea Of Tranquility
The Moon Rocket - The First Man On The Moon
Well, the prowess of Neil Armstrong is often not spoken of. His skills at flying had been extraordinary and his interest in this field had been such that he had even gotten his pilot's license prior to getting his driving license.
Exceptionally good was he in all aspects involving piloting, that fittingly the moon mission entrusted to him required his extraordinary skills of judgement and implementing, to function at a very crucial moment.
On entering lunar orbit, the Eagle had to detach itself from the mother craft, or the Command Module known as Columbia. The descent to the lunar surface was set to commence immediately after un-docking.
After un-docking successfully, the Eagle, containing astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin commenced it's descent to the surface of the moon while the Command Module piloted by Michael Collins continued to orbit the moon.
Man On The Moon - Apollo 11
The Life Of Neil Armstrong
The Command Module In Lunar Orbit The And Sea Of Tranquility
The area on the moon selected by NASA scientists for the Eagle to land had been named the Sea Of Tranquility. The zero zero spot that the computer had been programmed to guide the Eagle to, had not been in view at this important stage.
The two astronauts in the descending space vehicle had noticed that the descent to the lunar surface was not pointing at zero zero as programmed, but instead the module was descending to a different area and shaping to land on a cluster of large boulders.
Manual control was instantly opted for, as the computer controlled zeroing-in process was observed not to have functioned as expected to. Due to this computer malfunction, Armstrong had to take on the task of manually directing the craft to zero zero, the exact spot to land on.
US Space Ventures - Mercury Program, Gemini Program, & The Apollo Program
NASA - Mission Control
The many anxious moments that preceded the actual touch down of the Eagle on the moon's surface took Armstrong all his piloting and judgement skills and also required the application of his courage, and patience to the maximum.
It was an enormous task with so much uncertainty caused by restricted vision and other issues to steer the module to the precise point planned for its touch down.
It is not all that easy to give a precise description of the descent as it was not a slow vertical drop. It was somewhat similar to the landing of an aircraft but with totally different gravity conditions and zero turbulence.
The laws of aerodynamics would not count in this case as the moon does not have an atmosphere. Controlling the altitude drop and steering the vehicle was totally different from the way it is done in any aircraft.
Acting on the location data being fed to him by Buzz Aldrin, Armstrong had a task that required superhuman thinking, control, and reflexes.
This task was even made more difficult as a cloud of dust caused by the Eagle's exhaust had resulted in near zero vision for the two astronauts on board the Eagle.
However with nerves of steel, Armstrong did succeed in bringing the Eagle down. During these moments his pulse rate is said to have registered twice that of normal.
How Much Do You Know About Neil Armstrong? Take This Quiz To Find Out.
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Lobo - A Song About Armstrong
Your Opinion And Views Do Matter
The Eagle Has Landed - One Giant Leap
The NASA team known as mission control, monitoring the journey from start to finish breathed a great sigh of relief when Armstrong casually announced "Houston ... This Is Tranquility Base ... The Eagle Has Landed!" ... Then came the applause!
(Check out the you-tube video "Landing On The Sea Of Tranquility")
To all those skeptics who say " ... what the heck, they just sat there and flicked the right switches at the right time ... they did just what they were taught to do ... "
Well, I would say, you guys have a great deal more to understand!
Having been the mission commander of the most dangerous journey undertaken by man, and having accomplished all that he did that was associated with the mission, and the manner and circumstances under which he achieved all these, Neil Armstrong's courage and prowess cannot be described in just a few words.
During the moon landing mission, he was hailed by a Russian newspaper as the 'Czar Of The Ship!'
He was a test pilot, an aeronautical engineer, a scientist, an astronaut, a cool leader, a man with nerves of steel, and he was ... fittingly enough, the first human being to set foot on another planet.
Led a mission associated with a task that required absolute physical fitness and mental alertness. Having played the lead role in an event which blasted to total insignificance the glamor associated with thousands of trend setting celebrities, the awe generated by thousands of high achieving sports persons and sports events for all time, Neil A Armstrong lived the life of an ordinary man, shunning publicity and rejecting fame and fortune.
Having spent eighty two years on this planet, and a mere twenty one hours on another, yet another pioneer leaves us. The moon will continue to proudly bear the footprints that he left behind on its surface, while silently weeping at the death of its very first visitor.
One "small" death, one giant loss. He led the team that went in peace for all mankind. May his soul rest in peace.
What Was The Most Important Phrase Ever Uttered By A Human Being?
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