Free «The Apollo 11 Moon Landing» UK Essay Paper
The Apollo 11 Moon landing is deservedly regarded as the important evolutionary breakthrough of humankind. The fierce competition between the USA and Soviet Union had lasted for many years in the 20th century. For US citizens, landing a man on the moon was a significant event as it marked the unconditional victory in the long space race. Despite the fact that the Soviets bounced their spacecraft off the moon a decade earlier, only Americans left their fingerprints on the lunar surface, thus proving their real presence on the natural satellite. Experts describe the Apollo expedition as the American comeback victory in the space race against the USSR. The current paper seeks to examine one of the most significant events that changed the history of the USA and humankind forever, namely the successful landing of the manned spacecraft Apollo 11 with the three astronauts on the Moon in July 1969.
During his presidency, John F. Kennedy set a historical task – to put a man on the Moon. This objective was realized six years after the president’s death, in July 1969, when the manned spacecraft Apollo 11 first brought people to the surface of the Moon (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). The spacecraft crew consisted of the proficient astronauts, namely the pilots of the lunar and command modules Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, as well as commander Neil Armstrong. The main objective of this space expedition was the successful return home after the landmark flight. The spacecraft Apollo 11 consisted of two modules – the moon module called “Eagle” and the command module called “Columbia”. The astronauts spent most of the flight in the command module. The lunar module was intended for the landing and the consequent takeoff from the natural satellite. The commander of the expedition Armstrong put the lunar module in the semi-automatic mode despite NASA’s intentions to land the spacecraft on the lunar surface automatically. However, Armstrong considered that the automatic mode was not an option. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, “The primary objective of Apollo 11 was to complete a national goal set by President Kennedy.” In 1969, the goal was successfully achieved.
The period of the 1960s was turbulent in the US history. The tenure of the charismatic leader John F. Kennedy, the fight for civil rights, the war in Vietnam, and the Cold War posed great challenges to the American society, thus putting their democratic values to the test. However, landing on the Moon put all the pressing issues aside. Many people regard the Apollo expedition to the satellite as the unconditional victory of democracy over communism. In the end of July, Armstrong’ expedition to the Moon marked a great step forward in the history of the USA and humankind. According to Launius, “Its success was enormously significant, coming at a time when American society was in crisis.” Before voicing the landmark decision publicly, Kennedy thoroughly examined the potential of astronauts and expedition itself. The US citizens, in their turn, expressed support. The Apollo 11 moon landing was significant as it reflected the efforts of the USA to question the Soviet leadership in technology and space (Launius). Kennedy sought to realize most of his goals through the sending of a man to the Moon. However, the project left a great legacy not only to the field of space exploration but also to democracy.
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Kennedy was aware of the fact that the space race was not just a scientific competition or common struggle for prestige. At that time, the USA and the Soviet Union were in the state of the Cold War, which they sought to win not only on the fields of possible nuclear battles but also in human minds. The intellectual force and will were of high priority at that time. The USA developed the unprecedented manned flight program to the Moon, the cost of which was more than $25 billion (Anthony). Putting a man to the Moon is attributed to the great legacy of John F. Kennedy’s tenure. Unfortunately, he could not contemplate this event due to his assassination in 1963. The national leader promised the nation to return the brave astronauts home safely, and they accomplished the mission successfully. As a result, the expedition was productive and successful. The significance of the event is evident as it helped to discover the specifics of the Moon and promoted the development of space experiments and research projects. Launius believes that it was “one small step for [a] man-one giant leap for mankind.” The expedition to the Moon turned science fiction into reality and inspired millions of people to discovery and exploration. The Apollo 11 Moon landing validated NASA’s existence, as for many years, the agency was under constant pressure.
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Every US citizen, regardless of age and gender, may look at the images taken during the Apollo 11 Moon expedition and feel the pride for the native country. At the time of the historical Moon expedition, the astronauts took samples of lunar rocks and installed a seismometer and laser reflector on the satellite’s surface. They put the US national flag on the lunar surface and left coins with the images of deceased astronauts, including those of White, Grissom, Komarov, Gagarin, and Chaffee. After the important moon expedition had ended, astronauts safely returned home. According to Anthony, “Apollo 11 landing is still some of humanity’s greatest technological achievements”. Because of the expedition’s success, the upper managements of space companies have come up with proposals on the moon flight, including the transportation of helium-3, the substance that could serve as the most effective source of energy to replace oil, gas, and uranium fuels of nuclear power plants.
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In conclusion, the Apollo 11 Moon landing was an important step forward in the continuous and productive process of exploration. In July 1969, the manned spacecraft Apollo 11 first brought people to the surface of the Moon. This task was set by President Kennedy and was realized six years after his assassination. The images depicting astronauts walking on the Moon are iconic for the US history.
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