The starry view of Apollo 11

Over the years there have been many attempts to put men into space. The great space race saw Russia and the United States of America battle it out to be the first nation to put humans into space and then the first nation to put a man on the moon. There were a number of attempts from both nations and some of these ended in tragedy.

Spacecraft need to be made of extremely strong metal and they need to be developed to withstand the high temperatures of the atmosphere. You can be sure that the metal panels will have a Plasma Spray added to the surface to help ensure that the metal remains robust as it passes through the ozone layer and out into space. This coating also helps prevent the spacecraft from setting ablaze as it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere.

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Apollo 11 was to be the defining moment of the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States of America, and its western European allies. Although the Russians had made great advances at the start, with Sputnik and the Flight of Yuri Gargarin they were thoroughly put into second place by the first manned flight and landing in an object not of this Earth. The multistage rocket propelled the three astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on to the moon. It needed to be powerful to create the escape velocity needed to break the gravitational pull of the Earth. The same would not be needed to escape from the Moon. The whole trip was fraught with dangers and fears for the astronauts, their families and the groundcrews back at mission control. What would they see on the way to the Moon? What would happen on the way. Would the equipment and technology hold up to the conditions and would the cameras be able to record it all for posterity? If the cameras failed, what proof would they have to show they had been.

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The world held its breath as the men approached the planet. The landing gear was successfully deployed, and the Sea of tranquillity was ready to receive the lunar module. The cameras were working and showed the shadow of the craft land at the site. The voice of Armstrong rang out clear on the radio “Tranquillity base here Houston, the Eagle has landed”.