It’s The 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 AND Google Made a Special Doodle!
By Archana Patrick and John Tan
On this day, July 20, millions of people tuned in to watch the first space mission to the moon, dubbed ‘Apollo 11’, after the space vehicle transporting astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. The iconic moment in history was the famous words uttered by Armstrong – “One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind”.
Meet the team behind the Apollo 11 Google Doodle
In honour of the 50th Anniversary of the first lunar landing, the Google Doodle Team (a legit team in Google!) made an animated video clip featuring images and footage of Apollo 11 from launch, to the moon and back. Yet the most heartwarming and inspiring element of the video doodle lies in its narrator – Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot.
According to Jessica Yu, Team Lead, Google Doodle Team and Pedro Vergani, Lead Artist and Doodler, Google Doodle Team, Collins personalised the script for the video by injecting his own thoughts and memories of the Apollo 11 mission (drinking coffee on one side of the moon with a glimpse of planet Earth right in front of you is definitely an out-of-this world experience!).
In particular, Collins stressed that “for one brief moment, the first lunar landing brought people from all over the globe. Instead of saying you Americans did it, they say WE DID IT”.
The video also highlights the fact that 400,000 people worked together to make the mission a success 50 years ago.
Check out these interesting facts surrounding the Apollo 11 mission.
1. The space mission took place during John F. Kennedy’s presidency. President Kennedy was determined to make it happen and proposed the project to the Congress and as the saying goes ‘the rest is history’.
2. There were several missions which paved the way for the success of Apollo 11. Apollo 1, was the first crewed mission to the moon which unfortunately didn’t take off and killed three astronauts due to a cabin fire during a launch rehearsal test at Cape Kennedy Air Force Station.
NASA continued efforts to improve safety requirements followed by Apollo 7 (the first program to carry humans to space, which splashed into the Atlantic Ocean on its way back in 1968), Apollo 8 (first crewed spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit, reach the Moon, orbit it, and return which was a success) and other space projects which eventually led to the Apollo 11 mission.
3. Saturn V, the rocket for the Apollo 11 mission was the tallest and most powerful rocket ever launched standing at 363 feet (111 meters) tall with the capacity of launching about 50 tons (43,500 kg) of cargo and crew to the moon (WOW!). 203,400 gallons of kerosene fuel and another 318,000 gallons of liquid oxygen were required to lift the spacecraft just 38 miles into the sky.
4. Neil Armstrong had to drop about 3 1/2 feet from the foot of the Eagle’s ladder to the surface – ‘One small step for man’, wasn’t small at all!
5. Pink Floyd jammed the tune ‘Moonhead’ during BBC’s live television coverage of the moon landing (#lunarjamsession).
The world awaits the next giant leap which may be soon to come as NASA is planning to put the first woman on the Moon by 2024 and the first mission to Mars in the 2030s!
*Featured image sourced from The Verge