July 20, 2019, marks the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the Moon as part of NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar mission! Apollo 11 was powered by a 363ft tall Saturn V rocket, all the way from the Kennedy Space Center on its 240,000-mile journey from Earth to the moon.
From a Pilot’s license to Astronaut Legend
Neil Armstrong earned his pilot’s license at the fresh age of 16.
By 21, he was flying combat missions over Korea. From there, he went on to another risky job test piloting the famous X-15, flying 4,000 miles-per-hour to the edge of the atmosphere!
NASA selected Armstrong in September 1962 as one of the nine-man astronaut team. In January 1969, he was nominated Commander of the three-man squad bound for the moon on the Apollo 11.
Together with Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins, Armstrong spent six months in rigorous training to make the 240,000-mile journey on July 16.
LAUNCH CONTROL | MONDAY, JULY 16, 1969, 7:51 AM: This is Apollo Saturn launch control. T-minus 2 hours, 40 minutes, 40 seconds and counting. At this time the prime crew for Apollo 11 has boarded the high-speed elevator which will carry them to the 320-foot level … the spacecraft level
LAUNCH CONTROL: Twenty seconds and counting. … 10, 9 … ignition sequence start. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, zero. All engine running. Liftoff, we have a liftoff. 32 minutes past the hour. Liftoff on Apollo 11.
Finally, after four days and a quarter-million miles, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong put his left foot on the lunar surface and declared:
That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Space is a goal for Business Aviation
The Space age was born out of a race between governments, starting with the Sputnik ambition. Now, we sit in a corporate race to send the general public to space. Private companies started reaching for the stars in 1980, when French company Arianespace was founded.
Recently, it all started to change by way of global investment in commercial space ventures.
With companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Breakthrough Starshot, Virgin Galactic, and Vulcan Inc. determined to make space travel and space tourism more accessible, how long will it take before we start sending passengers to other planets?
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