Apollo 11: The Eagle Has Landed

HISTORY

By: Nathan Chandler

4 Min Quiz

Image: youtube

About This Quiz

When historians discuss pioneers of humankind, they can't help but mention NASA's Apollo 11 mission. This voyage to the heavens shook the grounds below scientifically, culturally and philosophically, changing the way we humans view our place in the universe. How much do you know about Apollo 11?

What was Apollo 11's mission statement?

The mission's statement -- land on the moon and return -- was simple. Executing that mission was a much different matter.

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The moon landing was one of the biggest moments in human history. What year did it happen?

The counterculture moment was in full swing. The Vietnam War was heating up. Nixon was president. And humans landed on the moon … in 1969.

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What sort of rocket blasted the men from Earth and into orbit?

The Saturn V was a three-stage liquid-fuel rocket used to launch the lunar mission into orbit. This rocket model was used a total of 13 times in NASA history.

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How many astronauts were on this monumental mission?

There were just three astronauts on board the ship. They were Neil Armstrong, Eldrin Aldrin and Michael Collins.

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Only two men actually touched down on the moon. Which man remained in moon orbit while the other two descended for the lunar landing?

Michael Collins stayed behind and remained in control of the command module. Armstrong and Aldrin zoomed towards the cratered surface of the moon.

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How long were Aldrin and Armstrong on the moon's surface?

Aldrin and Armstong were on the moon for 21 and a half glorious hours. They were only outside the lander for about two and a half hours, though.

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The lunar module was famously named Eagle. What was the name of the Command Module?

As Aldrin and Armstrong descended in Eagle, Collins remained onboard the Columbia Command Module. It was 10 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter.

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As the lunar module landed, Armstrong abruptly had to take control. Why?

The lunar module was heading straight for large boulders, so he had to maneuver to avoid them. He had just over 20 seconds of fuel left when they finally landed.

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After landing on the moon, the two astronauts were supposed to do what?

The plan called for them to eat and then take a five-hour nap because they'd already executed a lot of hard work. But neither man could sleep, so they immediately prepared to leave the module.

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Before the Apollo 11 mission, how many total combined missions had the crew members flown in space?

None of the men were exactly hardened spacefarers. They each had one previous space flight.

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Immediately before he touched the moon for the first time, Armstrong struggled with what?

With his life support gear strapped onto his back, Armstrong had a hard time wriggling through the module's door. Both men found this seemingly simple task to be strenuous … and stressful.

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What did Aldrin do before exiting the lunar module?

Aldrin privately took communion (including a tiny bit of wine) before leaving the module. Due to a lawsuit over previous religious acts, NASA could not officially be a part of the communion.

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Aldrin and Armstrong bounded around the moon's surface collecting samples. How many pounds of materials were they able to gather?

NASA scientists were dying to get their hands on moon rocks. The astronauts brought back just under 50 pounds of the precious material.

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How long were the men on the moon's surface before exiting the landing module for their first lunar steps?

Immediately after touching down, the excited men began preparations for their moonwalk. About six and a half hours later, they exited the craft and made history.

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What was one of the very first tasks Armstrong completed after he set foot on the moon?

NASA scientists were adamant that they get samples of the moon's surface. So in the event that something went wrong with the moonwalk, they instructed Armstrong to bag samples of lunar dust before starting any other tasks.

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The astronauts took a phone call during the moonwalk.

During their stroll on the moon, the men received a phone call via their helmet radios. It was President Nixon looking to congratulate them for their achievement.

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Lunar gravity is lower than Earth's gravity. How much lower is the Moon's gravity?

The Moon's gravity is 1/6 of Earth's gravity, meaning that the men could easily walk around even with their heavy equipment. They tested the gravity by jumping from time to time.

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The astronauts left behind symbolic items on the moon's surface. What of the following objects were NOT left behind?

There were a few dozen messages from world leaders -- not hundreds. The astronauts left behind other notable items, such as a gold pin shaped like an olive branch and, of course, an American flag.

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What happened to the American flag that the men planted on the Moon?

As the lunar module blasted off, the force from the rockets toppled the flag … meaning the flag only stood for a few hours.

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The lunar module landed at a spot called Mare Tranquillitatis, which means what?

Aldrin and Armstong landed in Mare Tranquillitatis, the Sea of Tranquility. Two previous (unmanned) NASA craft had already visited the area before the astronauts landed.

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Only four men signed the plaque that was left behind on the moon. The three astronauts signed -- and who else?

In addition to the three astronauts, U.S. President Nixon also signed the plaque, ensuring that centuries from now, aliens will be familiar with Tricky Dick.

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As the men prepared to lift off of the moon, they damaged part of the module. What component did they affect?

Aldrin inadvertently damaged a circuit breaker … the one that activated the main engine. Whoops. Fortunately, they were able to use a felt-tip pen to push the breaker back into the correct position.

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NASA allotted a specific amount of time for the moonwalk, but the astronauts weren't ready to leave the lunar surface just yet. By how long did mission control extend the moonwalk?

Armstrong and Aldrin were undoubtedly elated that mission control gave them 15 extra minutes to wander and collect samples. In all, the two spent about two hours and 40 minutes on the moonwalk.

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With which task did the astronauts struggle while they were on the moon?

NASA scientists thought the moon's surface would be relatively soft, but they were wrong. The men struggled to drive the flagpole into the moon's hard crust.

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President Nixon had a speech ready to honor the lives of the astronauts in the event that they died.

Nixon was indeed prepared to announce their deaths. "These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice."

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After their moonwalk, the astronauts tossed their life-support backpack, shoes and other equipment out the door. Why?

The men threw a jumble of equipment out the door and onto the Moon's surface. The idea was to lighten the load for takeoff.

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About how many people were part of the planning and design that went into the Apollo 11 mission?

From scientists to engineers to construction workers, there were roughly 400,000 people involved in the project. Their purpose? To beat the Russians to the moon.

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The men took soil samples of the moon. How many new minerals did scientist discover thanks to those samples?

The soil samples yielded three new minerals. They were pyroxferroite, tranquilityite and armalcolite, which was named, of course, for Neil Armstrong.

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What role did Jim Lovell have for the Apollo 11 mission?

Jim Lovell was Neil Armstrong's backup. He wound up flying a later mission -- Apollo 13 -- that nearly ended in complete disaster.

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How many manned missions has NASA landed on the moon?

Apollo 11 was the first, but it wasn't the last. Between 1969 and '72, NASA landed a total of six crews on the moon. No other country has landed a manned mission on our rocky little neighbor.

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