Earth and Moon

Humans on the Moon

Humans on the Moon

The successful moon landing of the unmanned space probes of the American Surveyor and the Soviet Luna series in the 1960s and, finally, the manned moon landings of the Apollo program made an old dream come true: step on the Moon.

The astronauts of the Apollo ships collected lunar rocks, took thousands of photographs and placed instruments on the Moon, which sent information to Earth by radio telemetry.

There was a great euphoria, but this went away with the passage of time which, together with the lack of budget, led to abandon the lunar expeditions after Apollo 17.

Since the beginning of spaceflight, the Moon was the first destination. The first space vehicles that reached the Moon were Moon 1, 2 and 3 of the former Soviet Union, in 1959. Of these, Moon 3 surrounded the Moon, took photographs of the dark side, which is not seen from Earth, and subsequently scanned and transmitted those images; Unfortunately its quality was poor. In the decade that followed, 19 other missions aimed at the Moon.

In 1970 a Soviet vehicle landed and returned with a rock sample. That same year he landed a vehicle with remote control, the "Lunokhod", which explored around him for almost a year. He returned with samples and followed other Lunokhods; the series ended in 1976. However, failed tests of large rockets developed for manned human flights, completed any manned lunar exploration plan by the Soviet Union.

The first attempts by the US to send an unmanned space vehicle to the Moon (1958-64) they failed or sent little data. However, in July 1964, Ranger 7 sent clear TV images of its impact on the Moon, as did Rangers 8 and 9. Of the 7 "soft moon landings" of the "Surveyor" series (1966-8 ), 5 executed well and sent data and photos.

In November 1969, after Apollo 12 landed 500 feet (160 meters) from "Surveyor 3," the astronauts retrieved their camera and brought it back to Earth. In addition to the Surveyor project, 5 lunar orbits photographed the Moon and helped make accurate maps of its surface.

On May 25, 1961, about a month after Russian Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the globe, the president of the United States. John F. Kennedy proposed to Congress "that this nation should work to achieve the goal, before the end of this decade, of putting a man on the Moon and bringing him back to Earth."

They followed the missions Apollo, with Apollo 8 surrounding the Moon in 1968 and, finally, landing Apollo 11 there on July 20, 1969. Five other moon landings followed, the last one in December 1972. Only Apollo 13 landed in the moon landing, its crew was near death due to an explosion aboard his ship on the way to the moon

The Moon has not been visited by humans since 1972, but some orbital missions have studied the magnetic field of the Moon, as well as X-ray and gamma emissions, from which some variations of the composition of its composition can be deduced. surface.

◄ Previous
The observation of the moon