Next week we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. All around the world, people were watching the first men to ever walk the lunar surface, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
This historical event has since been discussed in books, TV shows, documentaries, and movies. Still, some things are surrounding this event that people still have no clue about. Here are a few facts about the Apollo 11 mission that you most likely did not know about.
Five Facts You Did Not Know About The Apollo 11 Mission
President Kennedy’s view
On multiple occasions, Kennedy publicly announced his belief that the moon landing would “organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.” In reality, he was more interested in other earthly issues. As he told James Webb, the NASA Administrator, in 1962, he was not that interested in space. ” “Everything we do ought to be tied into getting to the moon ahead of the Russians,” he said.
The Apollo 11 sold their autographs to be able to pay for life insurance
When you are about to embark on a space mission, you better have good life insurance, which costs a lot. Therefore, Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins decided to take advantage of their fame to make some extra money. They wrote hundreds of their autographs, knowing that they would be precious if something happened to them during their mission, so their families would have a backup fund. Subsequently, after the crew completed the lunar mission, the autographs sold for around $28,500 each.
A lingerie company manufactured the crew’s spacesuits
Playtex, a known lingerie company, was hired by NASA to create the suits. The initial design of the spacesuits, created by a different company, was rejected. Playtex stole the design and resubmitted it and won the contract.
A pen saved the day
Before starting the trip towards the moon, Armstrong’s backpack hit the ascent engine arming switch that was essential to begin the flight. Since mission control could not find a quick fix for the problem, the crew had to improvise. They replaced the switch with a felt-tip pen.
Nixon expected Apollo 11 to fail
A couple of days before the mission, Nixon had already prepared his speech in case Armstrong and Aldrin died. “These brave men, Neil Armstrong, and Edwin Aldrin, know there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice,” Nixon would have said.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.