Google is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, with an interactive Google Doodle, made in partnership with Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins and NASA.
The video Doodle allows visitors to experience the historic journey to the moon and back that changed the world's view on what is possible. The video Doodle includes narration by Collins, giving a first-hand account of what it felt like landing on the moon and arriving back on Earth safely.
Project Apollo, which it was known as, required the contributions of roughly 400,000 people located across the globe including factory workers, scientists, engineers and of course astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michale Collins. Their trip to the moon, followed by scores of people around the world, began at Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969. After the Saturn V rocket blasted off from the Space Center in Florida and orbited around the moon the Eagle lunar module made the 13-minute journey to the surface. Astronaut Collins stayed in the command module which was used to bring them all safely back to Earth. Google tried to capture that by creating storyboards for the historic event.
Millions of Americans Watch History in the Making
Their trip to the moon and back wasn't without drama that played out on televisions across America. Armstrong and Aldrin lost contact with Earth, the computer onboard the rocketship spit out error codes and they ran out of fuel. But the astronauts, before the eyes of millions of Americas, were able to land on the moon on July 20, 1969. Shortly after Armstrong became the first human to take a step on the moon. “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind," were the famous words that came out of Armstrong.
The astronauts returned to Earth on July 25, 1969, setting a new goal for astronauts and governments around the world. Landing on the moon not only open up the world to more space exploration but enabled breakthroughs including CAT scans and freeze-dried food.
After all Project Apollo's goals went far beyond landing Americans on the moon and returning them safely back to eath. The aim was to establish the technology needed to further national interests in space, achieve preeminence in space for the U.S., carry out scientific exploration of the moon and develop the human capability to work in the lunar environment.
Space Exploration Continues On
While the project ended in the 1970's space exploration is alive and kicking with the private sector getting involved more recently. SpaceX, Elon Musk's company is just one example. Founded by Musk in 2002 its goal is to reduce the costs of space transportation with an eye toward colonizing Mars.
NASA and scientists around the world remain interested in the moon with the word Apollo landing at the top of all search quired on NASA's public website. What's more, NASA said it has sent more than 500 Apollo lunar samples to scientists around the world in recent years so analysis can continue. Its also including its own work with astronauts slated to land on the lunar South Pole by 2024.