Human Landing on the Moon
It was on July 20, 1969 that humankind first set foot on a celestial body, in this case, the Moon. 2 American astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin become the first-ever human to safely land, walk and return from a space body. The Mission was named Apollo 11.
What had happened?
- Alarmed at the alleged Soviet superiority in rocket technology and in an attempt to goad the American Scientists into beating the Soviets in Space, the then US President John F. Kennedy announced in 1961 that a man would land on the moon by the end of the 1960s.
- However, the US space program lacked in several aspects and attempts to persuade the Soviets for a joint mission was rebuffed.
- The Apollo program was established to create a comprehensive ecosystem that would take the man to the moon, land on the lunar surface and then safely return him from the lunar orbit to Earth.
- Parallelly, the Soviets also attempted a lunar program of their own but the effort was marred by multiple accidents (on the Rocket N1) and ultimately, they abandoned the effort.
- Finally, the American NASA achieved success with Apollo 11 and man had set his foot on the moon.
- This was followed by a few other missions, however, after 1972, when Apollo 17 landed on the moon, mankind has not returned to the moon.
Future Lunar landing attempts
While several attempts at an uncrewed spacecraft landing on the Moon have been proposed and are being attempted like the Chinese Chang’e mission, the Indian Chandrayaan-2, the Russian Luna-Glob-1, and the American Lunar Precursor Robotic Program, no definitive manned missions are planned as of yet by any space exploration bodies.