Moon Landing 50th Anniversary: A Giant Leap for Mankind

the moon

Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, people made history as the first of them took his step on the Moon.

Apollo 11 was the first crewed space mission that successfully brings humans to the surface of the Moon and returned them back safely to the Earth. It is not the first time for the human to make a landing on the Moon. Since a Moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the Moon. There are crewed and uncrewed missions.

The Moon Landing

There are several attempts to reach and land on the Moon. The Soviet Unions succeeded to reach the surface of the Moon with their Luna 2 mission on September 13, 1959. It happens after in the same year; Luna 1 mission was failed. It followed by the US in 1962 with the Ranger 4 mission.

After that, there are several landing missions to the Moon. The latest news of success is the Chinese Chang’e 4 spacecraft made the first landing on the far side of the Moon on January 3, 2019. The Moon’s far side also called the ‘dark side’ because it is always unseen from Earth and is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight. For the information, all crewed and uncrewed soft landings had taken place on the near side of the Moon.

As a note, Apollo 11 was the first crewed mission to land on the Moon on 20 July 1969 and made the United States as the only country to successfully send astronauts to the Moon with the last departing the lunar surface in December 1972 — at least until 2019. When landed on the Moon, the Apollo 11 was manned by Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins.

What’s next?

The Moon landing has initially been a mission that seemed impossible. There are many missions carried out by various countries, especially the Soviet Union and the United States, which previously failed until finally succeed in sending men to the Moon. It’s not wrong if Neil Armstrong calls the moon landing as ‘a giant leap for mankind’.

In 2019, human in a race in getting the first humans to Mars. It is a special challenge considering that leaving for Mars can take at least six months, compared to three days to the Moon. On How We’ll Live on Mars, the author — Stephen Petranek — said, “Put on your seat belt. We will fly to Mars. Not only a few astronauts but thousands of people will open new colonies on Mars.”

The race to Mars involves competition between manufacturers and nations. NASA and Elon Musk with his Space X are going head to head to walk on the red planet. Elon Musk has promised to put humans on Mars within 20 years. Besides, Boeing also will be included in this competition.

It is possible in some years ahead we will celebrate another landing. Just let’s bring the hopes high!

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Neil Armstrong

References:
Richard W. Orloff. Apollo by the Numbers: A Statistical Reference (SP-4029)”
AP NEWS. “Chinese spacecraft makes first landing on moon’s far side”. 4 January 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
NASA. “July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind”. 20 July 2019. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
The Sun. “RACE TO MARS: NASA in space race with Elon Musk as they vow to put humans on Mars in 25 years”. 14 November 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2019.

Originally published at my previous personal blog on July 20, 2019.

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Zahroh Khumayr

Zahroh Khumayr

part-time writer | full-time learner