6 March 2013
On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy to make its journey to the moon. After 109 hours and 42 minutes, Commander Neil Armstrong took “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” on July 20, 1969, making Apollo 11 the most influential event in American history (Ryba). This mission did all but land someone on the moon, it achieved the goal set by the president of the United States, it began what was the first of so many wonderful scientific discoveries, and it inspired people of America to go for their dreams, and achieve what they want to achieve. Apollo 11 fulfilled the national goal set by John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961, “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” Four years after the Sputnik shock of 1957, when Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space on April 12, 1961, Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom became the first Americans in space May 5, 1961, although they did not orbit the Earth as Gagarin had. This embarrassed the United States and caused Kennedy to feel pressure to have the United States “catch up and overtake” the Soviet Union in the “space race.” This is when Project Apollo was formed, to execute Kennedy’s goal. “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. No single space project...will be more exciting, or more impressive to mankind, or more important...and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish..." (Kennedy). Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. achieved his goal on July 20, 1969, shocking many and putting the United States ahead in the space race (Ryba). Apollo 11 gave the United States a leg up in the space race, but it also was a step forward for more and better scientific discoveries. Due to this mission NASA proved that the moon is lifeless, no living...
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