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TOP Rare facts about the first landing on the moon

TOP Rare facts about the first landing on the moon 86

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, and the whole world gasped. Since then, we have not stopped gasping and groaning, learning new facts about that flight.

We know a lot about the legendary flight of Apollo 11, but a lot of interesting details have remained behind the scenes of the moon race. How much did the Apollo 11 flight cost, what does moon dust smell like and how dangerous it is, why were the astronauts taught to walk sideways and what nearly exploded after landing? “Popular Mechanics” will tell about these and many other little-known, but damn interesting facts associated with the first manned landing on the moon.

The moon smells like burning

The big question before the NASA team was: what will the surface of the moon be? Will the lander feet touch a hard surface or sink into something soft? The good news was that the surface was actually quite hard, but the real surprise was that the moon had its own scent.

astronaut on the moon
NASA Aldrin after collecting a sample of lunar soil. Pay attention, under his feet is a scoop-landing net with a long handle

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin returned to the lunar module, the lunar mud entered the cabin and began to smell strong. The astronauts reported that it was the smell of something burnt, like wet ash from a fireplace.

The cost of a flight to the moon flew into a pretty penny

In total, the States spent more than $ 25 billion on the Apollo program. Decent, but in 1960s prices. In terms of today’s money, this is more than $ 150 billion – that’s really decent.

Saturn-5
NASA Saturn 5 booster with Apollo 11 during launch. Millions of dollars burn so brightly

Only Apollo 11 itself cost the Americans 355 million dollars, and another 185 million had to be paid for the Saturn 5 launch vehicle. Further on the little things: the command module “Columbia”, in which Michael Collins remained while Armstrong and Aldrin roamed the moon ($ 55 million), the lunar module “Eagle” ($ 40 million).

The USSR carefully concealed attempts to get to the Moon first

Not only the States were going to demonstrate their dominance by landing people on the moon, the Soviet Union was also preparing for this feat. From 1967 to 1969, the USSR launched a lot of spacecraft – “Cosmos”, “Probes”, “Soyuz” and “Luna”. The most successful of these turned out to be Zond-5, which became the first spacecraft in the world to return photographic film taken from the Moon to Earth.

True, as soon as the American astronauts set foot on its surface first, the Soviets lost interest and reduced their efforts in this direction to a minimum.

At first, our country needed secrecy so that, God forbid, no one would catch up with us. But then, when the States did catch up with us and overtook us, we had to maintain secrecy so that no one knew that we had been beaten.

Astronauts trained, literally walking sideways

How do you prepare to send someone to a place no one has ever been? To do this, NASA created a series of simulators in the 1960s that simulated what astronauts might encounter in reality.

NASA training
NASA: Astronauts Prepared for Lunar Gravity in Exotic Pose

Aldrin practiced collecting samples on artificial moonlit landscapes indoors. Armstrong trained in piloting on a training simulator in Houston. And to simulate walking in the atmosphere with the gravity of the moon, astronauts, dressed in spacesuits, were hung sideways on special cables and forced to walk for hours on the walls of the Langley Research Center.

For 20 years we could not find a photo of Armstrong on the moon

After that flight, it was officially believed that there was not a single photo of Neil Armstrong, taken on the moon while leaving the ship, since he had the camera all the time.

Neil Armstrong on the moon
NASA Here it is, the only snapshot of Neil Armstrong on the Moon that could not be found for 20 years. By the way, later NASA decided to make red stripes on the commander’s spacesuit so that the astronauts could be easily distinguished.

However, in 1987, NASA historians managed to make a discovery: there is still a picture, but it is the only one. Edwin Aldrin took a camera that Armstrong had placed on the open panel of the lunar module’s cargo hold before collecting rock samples and shot a panorama. Part of this panorama was the shot with Armstrong.

Buzz Aldrin received communion on the moon

When Eagle landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to wait a bit before embarking on their first moonwalk. Aldrin, as an elder in the Presbyterian Church, made good use of his time and did things that no other person has ever done. He took part in the first religious sacrament ever performed on the moon – the rite of Christian communion. Armstrong declined to participate.

Aldrin had originally hoped for a live radio broadcast, but at the last moment NASA dropped the idea. All because of a lawsuit initiated by the militant atheist Madaline Murray O’Hare: she filed a lawsuit against the agency in connection with the fact that the crew of Apollo 8 on Christmas Eve 1968 in lunar orbit on the air read the first chapter of Genesis.

Scientists were terribly afraid of space microbes

Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins found themselves stuck in a biological defense quarantine upon arrival. Since humans had never been to the moon before, NASA scientists couldn’t be sure that some deadly space plague hadn’t come along with the astronauts.

Apollo 11 crew
NASA Upon arrival on Earth, the Apollo 11 crew communicated with the world only through the glass of the special van. Even with President Nixon.

As soon as their capsule splashed down in the Pacific on July 24, 1969, the trio were sent into a mobile quarantine van, which was taken to NASA’s Lunar Reception Laboratory in Houston, where the team remained until August 10, 1969.

Film cassettes and sample containers were less fortunate. The films were sterilized in an autoclave for several hours, after which they were sent to the darkroom. There, one of the photo technicians accidentally took the cassette with his bare hands (just the one that the astronauts dropped on the moon) and was taken out in the moon dust. He had to take a five minute disinfectant shower.

Lunar Reception Laboratory
NASA This is the building of the Lunar Reception Laboratory, where the crew spent 18 days of quarantine

The sample containers were double sterilized: first with ultraviolet light, then with peracetic acid. Then they were rinsed with sterile water and dried with nitrogen. The opening of the containers was delayed due to unstable pressure in the vacuum zone.

They suspected a small leak in one of the gloves that could be used to manipulate the samples. Less than a week later, the gloves were torn. Most of the lunar samples were exposed to the earth’s atmosphere, and two of the technicians had to be quarantined. Then four more technicians were quarantined. In total, more than two dozen people have been quarantined.

President Nixon prepared in advance for mission failure

As Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin jump across the moon’s surface, Richard Nixon’s anxiety peaked. After all, if something goes wrong, he will have to make excuses to ordinary Americans for billions of wasted tax dollars.

Employees of the 37th President of the United States prepared a statement that he was supposed to read in case the worst happened. Even the NASA staff chaplain was on a low start. Watching the Apollo 11 adventures live, the President could only hope he didn’t have to read that statement. As we know, it was never necessary to read it. The mission failure speech was only made public 30 years later.

Astronauts did not land where planned

When Lunar Module Eagle, with Armstrong and Aldrin aboard, undocked from Command Module Columbia, in which Collins remained, the residual pressure inside the tunnel connecting the two spaceships was not sufficiently relieved. So “Eagle” received a small, but still an additional impetus.

Nine minutes before landing, Armstrong realized that the Eagle would fly past the planned landing site. According to astronauts’ estimates, they should have missed by about five kilometers (in fact, they missed by six).

Lunar module "Eagle"
NASA Lunar module “Eagle” after undocking from the command module “Columbia”

But the search for a new safe landing site is not so bad. Due to the overload, the Eagle’s onboard computer distracted astronauts with constant emergency signals, and radio communications with the Mission Control Center were patchy. Fortunately, since the on-board system alarm was intermittent, the MCC considered the risk of overload low and gave the go-ahead to land.

When the Eagle had only 30 seconds of fuel left, Armstrong gently guided the lunar module towards the makeshift landing pad: “Houston, says Tranquility Base. The Eagle sat down. “

The lunar module nearly exploded

As adrenaline dropped and the astronauts completed their tasks, another problem was brewing. Although the Eagle’s landing engine had already been turned off, the sensors recorded an increase in pressure in its fuel line. This could mean only one thing: an ice plug formed in the system, and the accumulated fuel vapors were heated from the unit that had not yet cooled down.

At NASA, the situation was considered critical, and if the increase in pressure is not eliminated, the Eagle could explode. However, before the instructions for venting the fuel system were given to Armstrong and Aldrin, the ice plug melted, the pressure returned to normal, and the problem went away on its own.

The danger of moon dust

Created billions of years ago by meteorite impacts, the Moon lacks processes that could give debris and tiny soil particles smoother shapes. The astronauts have discovered that abrasive dust is much more than a nuisance.

Buzz Aldrin's Trail on the Moon
NASA Aldrin’s boot imprint, which literally inherited in the history of astronautics.

In later missions after Apollo 11, with longer exits to the lunar surface, there were reports that dust particles penetrated the interior of the lunar module, covered the visors of helmets, and caused zippers to wedge. The moon dust penetrated even through the layers of the protective suit material.

Bizzare & Odd

Vampire from the Australian state of Victoria: A rare disease doomed a little boy to live in the dark

Vampire from the Australian state of Victoria: A rare disease doomed a little boy to live in the dark 99


A little boy from the Australian state of Victoria is doomed to live in the dark due to his skin’s increased sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation. This is reported by the NZ Herald.

George Maddern, who is now 18 months old, was born with a rare condition – pigmented xeroderma. Because of this, the boy is allergic to sunlight.

These people are killed by the rays of the sun. They hide from the light and go outside after sunset

Every day, the child and his parents face many problems. For Maddern to play in the house, all the shutters must be closed and the windows must be tightly curtained. To go outside, he must be wrapped in blankets and put on gloves, since no part of his skin should be exposed to the sun.

The disease increases the chance of skin cancer by 10 thousand times, and there is a 25 percent chance that sunlight can affect the boy’s vision, hearing and nervous system. Xeroderma is incurable.

“This diagnosis means that George cannot play outside, walk up to UV-protected windows, and even attend any events if halogen lamps are used in the room where they are held,” the child’s uncle explained.

The boy has already been hospitalized with severe burns to his face after spending a short time in the sun without protection.

The family wants to build a special gazebo that will serve as a playground for the child, large enough to accommodate a trampoline, basketball hoops and slides. Also, the boy’s parents plan to tint the windows of the house and the car, install sensors that measure the level of ultraviolet radiation and buy clothes with UV protection.

To date, crowdfunding has raised over 63,000 Australian dollars.

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Bizzare & Odd

“Alien Challenge” continues: Another mysterious monolith found in Romania

"Alien Challenge" continues: Another mysterious monolith found in Romania 100
© @Color SKY / YouTube

Another mysterious monolith, the appearance of which previously puzzled the authorities of the American state of Utah, this time discovered in the east of Romania, writes the Daily Mail newspaper.

Last week, it was reported that Utah Public Safety officials had found a structure of shiny metal about twice as tall in the desert. After a few days, the monolith disappeared. According to the local land administration bureau, “an illegally installed structure called a” monolith “was removed <…> by an unknown party.”

The Romanian monolith was erected on a hill near the town of Piatra Neamt, a few meters from the ruins of the Dacian fortress of Petrodava. It was discovered on November 26th.

Roxana Josanu, a spokeswoman for the Culture and Historical Heritage Department of Neamt County, said the authorities were studying the “strange emergence” of a monolith about four meters high. 

“Before anything can be installed here, the permission of our organization is required, which must be approved by the Ministry of Culture,” she added.

The monolith in Romania, unlike the construction in Utah, is not a rectangle, but a rectangular trapezoid with a beveled top. Besides, its surface is covered with “patterns”.

Earlier, the media noted that the find in the Utah desert is similar to the alien obelisk from the Stanley Kubrick movie “A Space Odyssey 2001”, except for the fact that it is not black, but silver. It was assumed that we are talking about an art object.

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Bizzare & Odd

Hitler’s secret bunker with photographs and coins discovered in Argentina

Hitler's secret bunker with photographs and coins discovered in Argentina 101
© Twitter

Secret hideouts that were supposedly intended for Adolf Hitler have been discovered 600 miles north of Buenos Aires, Express reports.

It is alleged that even the Fuehrer of Nazi Germany after the end of the war in 1945 could have lived in the found refuge.

Former U.S. Special Forces soldier Tim Kennedy and CIA veteran Bob Baer told Express that Hitler’s likely hideout is 600 miles north of Buenos Aires. There are legends among the locals about why three buildings were built in a remote region of Argentina.

It is reported that archaeologists found during excavations a common photo of the leader of the Nazi Reich Hitler and his Italian colleague Benito Mussolini. Also, archaeologists allegedly found a box with gold coins minted in Germany in 1940, as well as a photograph of a child in Nazi uniform.

According to declassified FBI documents, the Nazi dictator planned to hide in an Argentine bunker in case of defeat, but did not manage to leave Germany – the Soviet army captured Berlin, and Hitler himself committed suicide. Hitler’s corpse was found burnt on the ruins of the Reich Chancellery in May 1945. The FBI studied the theory that a double died in Berlin and Hitler took refuge in Argentina. However, a dental study published in 2018 refutes this theory and confirms the death of the dictator in Berlin.

Today, any artifacts associated with Adolf Hitler acquire immense commercial value. Hitler’s telegram to Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner , written a few days before his suicide, was put up for sale at an auction in the United States. The owners planned to bail out up to $ 80 thousand for it.

The corner yellow house, in which Hitler was born and spent his childhood, will finally come into full ownership of the state. The Austrian edition of The Local names the amount of the transaction: for an empty house in Branau am Inn, the owner will receive 810 thousand euros. The Gerlinde Pommer family owned the yellow corner house in the town of Braunau am Inn on the German border for almost a century, either selling it or buying it back. The building is unremarkable, except that it was there that on April 20, 1880, Clara Hitler, the wife and part-time niece of Alois Hitler, gave birth to her first son, Adolf.

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