The Story of Apollo 11 and the First Men on the Moon: the Moon Landing for Kids - FreeSchool

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Mission Control: That's 15 seconds, guidance is internal. 12, 11, 10, 9, ignition sequence start...

6... 5...4... 3... 2... 1... zero. All engines running. We have a liftoff! Liftoff on Apollo 11!

Astronauts: Four forward, drifting to the right a little. 30 seconds. Contact light. Okay, engine stop.

Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed. Mission Control: Roger, Tranquility, we copy you on the ground.

You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue, we're breathin' again.

Newscaster: Armstrong is on the moon. Neil Armstrong, 38-year-old American, standing on the surface

of the moon, on this, July 20th, nineteen hundred and sixty-nine.

Armstrong:That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

Aldrin: Oh, that looks beautiful from here, Neil. Armstrong: It has a stark beauty all its own it's, uh, like

much of the high desert of the United States, it's different but it's very pretty out here.

Aldrin:Beautiful view. Armstrong: Isn't that something?

Magnificent sight out here. Magnificent desolation.

Mission Control: Tranquility base, Houston. Guidance recommendation is [inaudible] and you're cleared for takeoff.

Roger, understand. We're number one on the runway. Seven, six, five, engine on [inaudible].

Beautiful! Very smooth! Very quiet ride.

Apollo 11, Apollo 11, this is Hornet, Hornet, over.

Apollo [inaudible] Apollo grid [inaudible] our position, one three three zero.

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.

Narrator:The flight of Apollo 11 was the culmination of many years of planning, working, building

and testing. Thousands of people had contributed toward this day of accomplishment. The great

Saturn V rocket and the complex Apollo spacecraft had been assembled together and moved to the

launch pad. The equipment and techniques and personnel had been proved in earlier missions,

and now, they were ready.

The astronauts chosen for this mission had flown it many times in ground-based simulators.

They had all been in space before. They had trained carefully and well. And now, they

too were ready.

Astronaut Michael Collins would pilot the Apollo Command Module.

Astronaut Edwin Aldrin Jr. would pilot the Lunar Module.

And astronaut Neil Armstrong would serve as mission Commander. Armstrong would be the

first man to step upon the moon.

Mission Control:Six, five, four, three, two, one, zero, all engine running. Liftoff! We have a liftoff!

32 minutes past the hour, liftoff on Apollo 11. Tower cleared!

Narrator: Three hours later, the Apollo command module moves forward to extract the lunar module

from the third stage of the launch vehicle. Both are moving at more than 17,000 miles

an hour.

Docked together, they will sail a quarter million miles across the sea of space, and

into orbit around the Earth's nearest neighbor.

During the three-day journey to the moon, the astronauts kept busy. Checklists, navigation

and observation, housekeeping.

They must work in a weightless environment, keeping their spacecraft and themselves in

good condition. Data must be collected and reported. Experiments must be performed, including

photography both inside and outside the spacecraft. Because of the film speed, these actions appear

faster than they actually were.

July 19th. Apollo 11 slows down and goes into orbit around the moon. The bright blue planet

of Earth now lies 238,000 miles beyond the lunar horizon.

Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin, now in the lunar module, separate from the command module.

Astronaut Collins remains behind. Preparation for the lunar module descent to the moon now


The command module assumes the new name, 'Columbia.' The lunar module will be called the 'Eagle.'

The four landing pads of the lunar module are fully extended and locked in place. The

Eagle is poised and prepared for its descent to the lunar surface.

The moon landing craft rocket engine fires to slow it down, and to place it on the pathway

to the landing site in the Sea of Tranquility. There is tension and caution as the Eagle

flies lower. Warning lights blink on as the computer tries to keep up with the demand

for control data, but the status remains, "Go."

Astronauts:60 seconds. Lights on. Down two and a half. Forward. Forward. [inaudible] feet down, two

and a half. Picking up some dust. Four forward, four forward, drifting to the right a little.

[inaudible] Contact light? Okay. Engine stop.

Mission Control: We copy you down, Eagle.

Astronauts:Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed.

Narrator: Through the window of the Eagle, Armstrong and Aldrin see what no human eyes have ever

seen before. Their spacecraft casts a long shadow across the undisturbed dust of centuries.

Seven hours after landing, after careful preparations for later ascent were completed, Armstrong

opens the Eagle hatch, and begins his climb down to the surface.

The first footsteps on this strange new world must be taken cautiously. The moon has only

1/6th the gravity of Earth. The nature of its surface was still unknown.

Armstrong: Okay, I'm gonna step off the LM now. It's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

Narrator: Once on the surface, Armstrong scoops up a small sample of lunar dust and rock, precaution

against the possibility of an emergency take-off.

According to plan, astronaut Aldrin now descends from the Eagle. He and his equipment would

weight 383 lbs. on Earth, here, they weigh about 66 lbs.

For a brief moment, the first men on the moon stand and look at the stark, lonely landscape

around them, an experience which no one before them can share. But there is much to be done

in the limited time which they can stay on this airless, cloudless, satellite of Earth.

This sheet of metal foil traps and holds particles from the sun, the so-called 'solar wind,'

or barrage of solar energy which constantly strikes the moon's surface. Results of this

experiment will be taken back to Earth to reveal new secrets to anxious scientists.

An American flag is left behind on the moon, together with medals honoring American and

Soviet spacemen who lost their lives in earlier space tests, and a small disk, carrying messages

of goodwill from 73 nations on Earth.

A plaque on the lunar module reads, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon

the moon. July, 1969 AD. We came in peace, for all mankind."

Through a specially-made television camera, viewers in many nations on Earth were able

to watch the astronauts as they walked and worked on the moon. Despite the bulky spacesuits,

and the backpacks containing oxygen, temperature control and communications equipment, the

Apollo 11 crew found they could move easily about the surface.

Because there is no wind or rain on the moon, these footprints will remain for centuries.

After two hours and 31 minutes, the first lunar explorers had completed their research

on the moon. A night of rest in the lunar module, countdown preparations, and they were

ready to come home.

July 21st. The Eagle and its two-man crew lifted off the moon perfectly, and climbed

slowly to rendezvous and dock with the mother ship, Columbia. While Armstrong and Aldrin

explored the moon, astronaut Collins had kept a long and lonely vigil in the Columbia. The

approaching Eagle was a welcome sight.

Once again, the bright blue planet of Earth rises over the lunar horizon. For those who

had witnessed man's landing in the Sea of Tranquility, the moon would never again appear

quite the same.

July 24th. Dawn in the Pacific. Apollo blazes across the heavens, coming back to Earth at

25,000 miles an hour. President Richard Nixon, who had talked with the astronauts by telephone

while they were on the moon, was waiting aboard the recovery carrier to welcome the returning


The rock and soil samples brought back would be examined and analyzed by scientists in

many lands. They would reveal new insights into the origin and the age and the composition

of the moon. And, perhaps, new knowledge of the Earth as well. Already experiments left

on the moon were sending back revealing new information. The mission was successfully

completed. The Eagle had landed the first men on the moon and Columbia had returned

them safely to Earth. Wherever man journeys tomorrow, across the ocean of our universe,

history will remind him that Apollo 11 was mankind's first encounter with a new world.