Information Research Publications Presentations
on the Human Exploration of Space
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Group 3 (1963)
“Magnificent desolation” eloquently described the vivid emptiness of the Moon’s Sea of Tranquillity during that historic first moonwalk on 20 July 1969. These words were spoken by Buzz Aldrin, LMP of Apollo 11, upon stepping onto the lunar surface as the second man on the Moon a few minutes after Neil Armstrong. For over 2 hours, both men completed engineering tests of Apollo lunar surface equipment and procedures, remaining close to the lunar module ‘Eagle’ and at times in full view of the Earth-bound audience via a surface TV camera. In addition to setting up three experiments from the Early Apollo Scientific Experiment Package (EASEP), a solar wind collector, a laser ranging retro reflector and a passive seismograph, the two astronauts collected 22 kg of lunar material. Ceremonially, as well as setting up the US flag, the two men talked with US President Richard M Nixon, who congratulated them on their achievement. During the EVA, Armstrong took most of the still photos, and many that featured Aldrin have become iconic images of the 1960s and the early exploration of space. Aldrin evaluated his mobility on foot on the surface of the Moon, including two-footed ‘kangaroo hops’, during an excursion that was the pinnacle of an aeronautical and astronautical career that had begun over 20 years before as a student in the leading US military academy.
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