The main purpose of this mission was to beat the Soviet Union in the space race, or race to the moon, and was fulfilled to John F. Kennedy’s expectations. He was quoted saying in front of congress, "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. " And he proved to the public that America was still the leader in science, and could out do enemies of the United States.
In the time period before the Apollo mission, when it was still on the drawing board, the government was pouring billions of dollars into the education system, especially into math and science so that the engineers coming into the space program at NASA would already have a head start. This is relevant to today, because the government is desperately trying to raise America’s math and science test scores so that we can compete with scores of other countries like China and Korea. The crew of the Apollo 11 consisted of 3 men.
Neil Armstrong (Commander), Michael Collins (Command Module Pilot), and Edwin Aldrin Jr. (Lunar Module Pilot). All these men had been on space flights before making the Apollo 11 only the second all veteran crew in spaceflight history. Thousands of people crowded along the launch site to view the take off, but millions of people viewed the launch from the comfort of their homes on the television. The Saturn V rocket launched Apollo 11 into space, and 12 minutes later it had already entered orbit. The craft landed on the Moon in an area known as the Sea Of Tranquility.
The astronauts could study the landing site by looking out of the Eagle’s triangular mirrors which gave them a 60 degree view. That’s how they planned out where to place the EASEP or Early Apollo Scientific Experiment Package, and the famous United States flag. Contrary to what you would think, the astronauts stated that moving around on the moon was no problem at all, considering that the gravity on the moon is 1/6 the gravity here on Earth. After the planting of the flag, the crew took part in a “long distance phone call” with President Nixon in the White House.
Nixon referred to the call as, “The Most Historic Phone Call Ever Made From The White House. ” Nixon then gave a brief speech and then hung up because he wanted to give respect to Kennedy and allow the lunar mission to be his legacy. The landing on the moon changed the populations perception of the universe, it also gave U. S. citizens a sense of superiority over all the other countries in the world. It showed that if you work hard enough then you can’t be tied down by boundaries.