Is Apollo 18 worth seeing

50 years of the moon landing: What happened to the flags that the astronauts hoisted on six moon landings?

  • The first humans landed on the moon on July 20, 1969 at 9:17 p.m. German time.
  • The historic first moon landing continues to inspire mankind.
  • Nobody has set foot on the moon since the last moon landing in 1972.
  • The US wants to land on the moon again in 2024 and is currently working on plans.
  • The theory still circulates that the moon landing should only have taken place in a TV studio. A renowned physicist refutes the arguments of the fake theory.

Update from July 12th, 3:30 p.m .: It is one of the most famous images from the first moon landing. The astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands in full gear on the surface of the moon, in front of him the American flag, which appears to be blowing in the wind. During the five subsequent lunar landing missions, US flags were also hoisted on the moon.

But what happened to the flags - up to 50 years after they were put up? After all, the flags stood in the harsh environment of the moon for many years: vacuum, strong sunlight during the day and cold at night shape the conditions on the moon. As Nasa showed in 2012 with pictures of the orbiter "Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter", at least the flags of the "Apollo" missions 12, 16 and 17 were still hanging on their masts at that time. How the state of the flags is, you could not see in the pictures. Experts assume that the flags did not survive unscathed.

The first flag that was set up on the moon * is unlikely to stand upright: after returning from the moon, Buzz Aldrin reported that the flag was blown down by the wind of the engine when it took off. The next astronauts on the moon will probably only be able to find out whether this is actually the case and what condition the individual flags are in - if they find themselves in the right area.

Update from July 9th, 4:00 p.m .: This conspiracy theory has existed since the moon landing 50 years ago: Was the moon landing only staged in a hollywood studio? The renowned physicist Werner Gruber explains in the video why the fake theory is nonsense.

SGruber says: "This moon landing discussion says: We have a very big educational problem." In the video, the physicist refutes various arguments that are supposed to prove that the moon landing was actually just a TV production.

Was the moon landing a fake? Physicists dissect conspiracy theories

Update from July 9th, 12 noon:Countdown to the start of "Apollo 11" on July 16, 1969: From June 26 to July 2, 1969, NASA carried out a countdown test. That meant the missile was refueled and counted down to the simulated countdown. After the simulated start, the tanks were emptied again and the three "Apollo 11" astronauts took part in a "dry test" in which, for example, refueling was dispensed with.

Update from July 9th, 11 a.m .: Assuming the USA landed on the moon again with astronauts in 2024 * and the European Championship finals were running at the same time: What would you watch on TV? The dpa news agency asked this question in a representative survey. The answer: 43 percent of those questioned would opt for the moon landing, while 38 percent more were enthusiastic about football. However, only about half of German citizens (54 percent) are convinced that a US moon landing will work by 2024.

50 years of lunar planning: are the Apollo 11 recordings real?

Update July 7th: The documentary "Apollo 11" * shows the first moon landing in original recordings and with original sound. The FR film critic thinks: What makes this film so worth seeing are the pictures, some of which have never been published before, from the holdings of NASA and the US National Archives.

Update July 4th: Before the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, many people on earth should already be looking at the moon: On July 16, there will be a partial lunar eclipse *, which can be seen above all in Europe, Africa and parts of Asia.

May 16 update: The US wants to land on the moon again by 2024, that much was already known. For this, NASA is to receive a budget increase of 1.6 billion dollars in 2020 alone. Where Donald Trump wants to get the money, however, causes an outcry in the USA.

May 13th update: The 50th anniversary of the first moon landing is approaching - and the US space agency Nasa is looking for reports from contemporary witnesses. In Germany, too, many still remember where they were when people first set foot on the moon. We appreciate your reports in the comments on this article.

Historic event: the first moon landing

The first manned moon landing is a historic event and is still considered an outstanding human achievement to this day. On July 20, 1969, at 9:17 pm German time, the “Eagle” lander touched down on the moon with astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Just in time, because the fuel was already very scarce. It was close for another reason: the on-board computer went crazy shortly before landing, the attempt to land was almost aborted - and the first moon landing would not have taken place on July 20, 1969.

A few hours after landing - on July 21, 1969 at 3:56 a.m. German time - Neil Armstrong was the first person to step on the moon. All over the world people sat spellbound on the sofa and watched the television broadcast of the moon landing - it is estimated that 500 to 600 million people watched the historic first manned moon landing live on television. Half of all television channels worldwide were connected, in Germany ARD and ZDF broadcast the landing in special programs and the radio broadcast live when Neil Armstrong said his famous words: “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” - in German : "This is a small step for people, a giant leap for humanity".

July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic first moon landing - a suitable occasion to look back on the successful mission of "Apollo 11". You can also read the review by the then FR correspondent on the anniversary of the moon landing * in 2009.

Moon landing: What was the aim of "Apollo 11"?

In May 1961, then US President John F. Kennedy declared in a speech that the US wanted to "land a man on the moon and bring him safely back to earth" before the end of the decade. A year later, Kennedy gave another famous speech that was to swear the Americans to the "Apollo" mission. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things […] not because they are easy, but because they are hard” - in German: “We have decided to fly to the moon and the others in this decade Doing things not because they are easy, but because they are difficult, ”said Kennedy at the time.

Primarily, the goal of "Apollo 11" was to achieve what Kennedy had set out in 1961: a safe moon landing and return of the astronaut before the end of the decade. Further goals were the scientific exploration of the moon by the crew, the installation of a television camera with which signals can be sent to the earth and several scientific experiments. Important tasks of the astronauts included photographing the surface of the moon and collecting lunar rocks. The astronauts also set up a US flag on the moon, as the following video shows:

Which astronauts landed on the moon?

The “Apollo 11” crew consisted of three astronauts: Commander Neil Armstrong and landing module pilot Buzz Aldrin descended on the lunar surface in the landing module “Eagle” and stepped onto the moon. Command module pilot Michael Collins remained in a lunar orbit in the Columbia module. Two out of three "Apollo 11" astronauts are still alive: Buzz Aldrin * (89) and Michael Collins (88). Neil Armstrong * died in 2012 at the age of 82. The backup crew included astronauts James Lovell, Fred Haise and William Anders. Lovell and Anders were already on board for "Apollo 8". They were the first astronauts to fly to the moon and take the famous "Earthrise" picture *. Lovell and Haise later belonged to the crew of "Apollo 13" *, the moon mission that had to be canceled.

How long did the first moon landing last?

On July 16, 1969 the lunar landing mission "Apollo 11" started with a Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on July 24 the command module "Columbia" splashed down again in the Pacific and was collected there by the salvage ship USS Hornet. It took exactly 195 hours and 18 minutes from the start to the waterfall. 109 days and 42 minutes after the rocket launched, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon. Armstrong and his astronaut colleague Buzz Aldrin spent a good two and a half hours on field missions on the moon, a total of 21 hours and 36 minutes on the celestial body.

When did the first moon landing take place? On July 20, 1969 or July 21, 1969?

Whether Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon on July 20 or July 21, 1969 is controversial. When the lunar module "Eagle" landed on the moon, it was July 20, 1969 in the USA and also in Germany. When astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface for the first time a few hours later, it was in "Coordinated Universal Time" (UTC), the time zone that applies on the moon, was 2.54 a.m. on July 21, 1969, while in the USA it was the late evening of July 20, 1969. Strictly speaking, the first moon landing took place in the early morning of July 21, 1969, but in the USA, even fifty years later, July 20, 1969 is considered the day of the first moon landing.

Also read:The pull of the moon *

Also read:Project Apollo Archive puts thousands of pictures on Flickr *

How many moon landings have there been so far?

Between 1969 and 1972 a total of six manned “Apollo” missions landed on the moon, twelve astronauts from the USA stepped on the moon. The first person on the moon was Neil Armstrong with "Apollo 11", the last people on the moon so far were Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt ("Apollo 17", 1972).

Where did "Apollo 11" land on the moon?

"The Eagle has landed", radioed Neil Armstrong after landing on the moon in an area called "Mare Tranquillitatis" ("Sea of ​​Peace"). The region Armstrong and Aldrin landed in is a dark low plain on the Earth-facing side of the moon. The landing point of the landing module has since been called "Tranquility Base" or "Statio Tranquillitatis". Three small moon craters near the landing site were named after the "Apollo 11" astronauts Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong. The following video shows Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's spacecraft on the moon:

What did the astronauts leave behind on the moon?

From a total of six manned moon landings, some traces have remained on the moon. On the list of "man-made things on the moon" (pdf) of the US space organization Nasa, there are, among other things, several lunar vehicles and laser mirrors, which enable an exact measurement of the distance between the earth and the moon. Apollo 11 also left a television camera and several lenses there, and flags also remained on the moon. "Apollo 14" also left two golf balls on the moon, which the astronaut Alan Shepard knocked off.

When will the next moon landing take place?

In 1972 people set foot on the moon for the last time, with the return of "Apollo 17" to earth, the manned journey to the moon was over. But time and again the idea of ​​sending people to the moon comes up in US politics. Most recently, US Vice President Mike Pence announced that the US wants to fly astronauts to the moon again in 2024 * - if necessary with the help of commercial technology. There have also been plans, which have since been crushed, according to which people should land on the moon again in 2020. The private US space company SpaceX wants to fly people around the moon for the first time in 2023 *.

* is part of the nationwide Ippen digital editorial network