Fly Me to the Moon – on Apollo 11

The moon taken with panasonic FZ7. B/W - 25 March 2007 20:05
Creative Commons License photo credit: jlcwalker

This weekend, “Fly me to the Moon” – the first animated film created in 3D – debuts in the Wortham IMAX Theatre. The movie follows the story of three flies as they board the famous Apollo 11 space shuttle and blast off to the moon. The “flyboys” (complete with tiny space suits to keep the oxygen in) accompany astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins throughout their legendary journey.

Now as you may have noticed by my weekly Looking Back… posts, I really enjoy history. So, I thought I would write a little bit about the Apollo 11 mission. Some of you probably remember watching the event live on TV or reading about it in the paper the next morning, an advantage I missed, having been born roughly 16 years after it happened. So I decided to write some facts that many of you (yes, even those that watched it live) probably don’t know.

The plaque the astronauts of Apollo 11 left on the Moon was originally worded to say, “We come in peace for all mankind.” President Nixon had it changed to “We came in peace for all mankind.”

There is no wind on the moon, so the flag up there has nothing to billow in (despite what you may assume from the photos). The flag placed there by Apollo 11 has a rod through the top of it that stays horizontal.

The Moon’s temperature ranges between 123C (253F) to 233C (-451F). It’s really hot where the sun is shining and really cold where it’s not.

The first words spoken on the moon were from inside the lunar module. Aldrin said, “Okay. Engine Stop.”

Released to Public: Apollo 11 Bootprint on the Moon (NASA GPN-2001-000014 )
Creative Commons License photo credit: pingnews.com

Neil Armstrong’s famous first words after setting foot on the moon were “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind. His first step on the moon took place at 2:56 UTC time on July 21, 1969.

Buzz Aldrin’s first words after setting foot on the moon were “Beautiful. Beautiful. Magnificent desolation.”

Buzz Aldrin, a Presbyterian, took communion on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

Buzz Aldrin had to spend three weeks in quarantine after returning from the moon.

There were an estimated 430 million people listening in to Apollo 11’s epic moonwalk.

Fly Me To The Moon takes you along for the ride on this groundbreaking mission. It’s is a great film for kids, and it presents space, space exploration, and the historic Apollo 11 mission in a fun and educational way. It will be running through November 20, so come on down and watch it with the family.

Still not convinced? Check out a preview:


Looking Back…

In case you were wondering about notable science events that occurred the week of July 18th…

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Creative Commons License photo credit: disoculated

On July 19, 1963, Joe Walker flew a North American X-15 to a record height of 347,800 feet. Under international convention, this constitutes spaceflight. He was also the first man to fly into space twice. Joe Walker’s test flights were beneficial to NASA and the entire space program. It was only six years later that NASA successfully reached the moon.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to set foot on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. From start to finish, the entire Lunar mission took just over 8 days. (Coming soon: your chance to be a fly on the shuttle wall of this extraordinary mission.)
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On July 21, 1931, CBS’ New York City station began broadcasting the first regular, seven day a week television schedule in the U.S. By the end of the year, CBS was broadcasting for seven hours a day, seven days a week. Now you can buy a set of knives or a juicer through the Home Shopping Network twenty-four hours a day, every day.

On July 24, 1911, Hiram Bingham III rediscovered Machu Picchu, more commonly known as the “Lost City of the Incas.” The city was built in the 1450’s, but was abandoned only a hundred years later during the Spanish conquest.

Before Machu Picchu
Creative Commons License photo credit: icelight