Apollo 11: This week marks the 50th anniversary. Doctor Aviation will post a daily blog recounting each day of the voyage. July 15 marks Day 0, the day before launch.
Apollo 11 was carried to the moon by a gigantic Saturn V rocket. The Saturn V was the brainchild of German (turned American) scientist Wernher von Braun. Von Braun and his team labored at the Huntsville Alabama rocket center throughout the 1950s into the 1960s endeavoring to perfect rocket technology.
At the top of the Saturn V rested the three-part spacecraft. The Command Module (CM) dubbed the Columbia. The Service Module, which contained the equipment for the mission, think of it as the utility room in an office building. Finally, the Lunar Module (affectionately called the LEM by the astronauts), which would bring two of the astronauts to the lunar service.
Apollo 11 was designed to be launched from Cape Canaveral, part of the larger Cape Kennedy complex near Cocoa Beach Florida. The Cape’s location n the Atlantic Ocean provided the ability to blast off and guide the trajectory of the spacecraft out over the ocean, minimizing potential damage to people on land in the event of an explosion. There are multiple launch pads at the Cape, Apollo 11 sat on Pad 39A.
The Day’s Activity
July 15, 1969 was a day of testing of all launch and other systems of Apollo 11. Meanwhile, several hundred thousand average Americans in tents RVS, etc. gathered to be in position to view the historic launch scheduled for the next day.