, The flag deployed during Apollo 17 has a unique history. About three months prior to the July 1969 Apollo 11 mission, Robert Gilruth, director of the MSC and a member of the Committee on Symbolic Activities, still needed to select someone to design the flag assembly.He asked Jack Kinzler, head of technical services at MSC, also known as "Mr. Inspired by the memory of his mother hanging curtains during his childhood, Kinzler came up with the idea of inserting a horizontal pole through a hemmed pocket in the top of the flag to support it.  The committee solicited suggestions from the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the Archivist of the United States, the NASA Historical Advisory Committee, the Space Council, and congressional committees. ", "Where No Flag Has Gone Before: Political and Technical Aspects of Placing a Flag on the Moon", Primary guidance, navigation, and control system, Charged Particle Lunar Environment Experiment, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lunar_Flag_Assembly&oldid=982889119, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 11 October 2020, at 00:18. All the famous shots are of his fellow spaceman Buzz Aldrin. The flag cost $5.50 and the tubing cost $75.. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left the door of the Lunar Module somewhat open to keep from being locked out. ” I am the vine; you are the branches. Armstrong and Aldrin had trouble inserting the pole into the lunar surface, and only managed to get it about seven inches deep. , About three months prior to the July 1969 Apollo 11 mission, Robert Gilruth, director of the MSC and a member of the Committee on Symbolic Activities, still needed to select someone to design the flag assembly. He asked Jack Kinzler, head of technical services at MSC, also known as "Mr. The Lunar Flag Assembly (LFA) was a kit containing a flag of the United States designed to be erected on the Moon during the Apollo program. The Apollo 11 guidance computer scaled 70 pounds and was less powerful than today’s smartphones. Kinzler also suggested, designed, and oversaw the creation of the commemorative plaques affixed to the Apollo Lunar Modules. To insulate the flag from these extreme conditions, it had to be packed inside a dual-walled protective shroud consisting of a stainless steel outer case separated from an aluminum layer by Thermoflex insulation, with several layers of Kapton thermal insulation foil between the inner case and the flag. ", Some Americans anticipated possible controversy over planting the United States flag on the Moon, since the Outer Space Treaty prohibited territorial claims to any extraterrestrial body. Link Copied. Armstrong took the first steps on the lunar surface, but Buzz Aldrin was the first to pee there. A NASA secretary possibly purchased the American flag from the Apollo 11 mission at a Houston Sears. Six of the flags (including one for Apollo 13 which was not planted on the Moon) were ordered from a government supply catalog and measured 3 by 5 feet (0.91 by 1.52 m); the last one planted on the Moon was the slightly larger, 6-foot (1.8 m)-wide flag which had hung in the MSC Mission Operations Control Room for most of the Apollo program. Fix It", to take on the task. ... this act is intended as a symbolic gesture of national pride in achievement and is not to be construed as a declaration of national appropriation by claim of sovereignty. $25.44 Billion was the Estimated costs of the Apollo 11 project. An artist's illustration of the fallen Apollo 11 flag Ruby Aitken. The assembly was designed and supervised by Jack Kinzler, head of technical services at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) in Houston, Texas. , Moon landing conspiracy theories § Environment, "Red, White & Blue: U.S. And finally, Buzz Aldrin became the first astronaut to praise the Lord’s supper on the Moon. The flag assembly was designed to work within those limitations. We all know the basics of what occurred, but there are many more facts about the moon landing and Apollo 11 that aren’t general knowledge, and these are just a few, enjoy. There is only one blurry straight photograph of Neil Armstrong truly on the Moon. This flag measured 20% wider and taller than the others requiring a 6-foot (1.8 m) long horizontal pole.  As a result, care was taken by subsequent crews to place the flags at greater distances from the Lunar Module.. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please feel free to browse my website for more exciting facts about the Mission to the Moon and especially Apollo 11. Six such flag assemblies were planted on the Moon. , Though the flag itself was a simple, government supply 3-by-5-foot (0.91 by 1.52 m) nylon flag altered only by sewing the top hem, its packaging, tolerance of environmental conditions, and means of deployment presented minor engineering challenges. Over the years, the nylon would have turned brittle and disintegrated. Flag at Home on the Moon", "Six Flags on the Moon: What is Their Current Condition? Upon landing in Honolulu, after splashing down in the Pacific 900 miles southwest of Hawaii, Neil Armstrong humorously filled out a customs and immigration form after their extraterrestrial travels.
, The committee recommended planting the U.S. flag on the Moon.  Buzz Aldrin reported that the Apollo 11 flag, placed about 27 feet (8.2 m) from the centerline of the Eagle landing craft, was blown over by the blast of the rocket exhaust during takeoff. An estimated 530 million people watched the event on TV. While the switch to the circuit breaker that activated the ascent engine of the Lunar Module malfunctioned, the astronauts applied a felt tip pen to flip the switch and get back to Earth. When they backed away from the flag, it proved it could stand on its own.
 For items to be left on the Moon, the committee considered several options, including leaving the UN flag, a United States flag, a set of miniature flags of all nations, and another commemorative marker on the surface. Because of their thick spacesuits, the astronauts had limited range of motion and manual dexterity. The Apollo 11 US flag placed on the Moon was knocked down by the Lunar Module take-off thrust.  In response to this, the assembly was improved to include a double-latch locking mechanism for later missions. Deke Slayton was fine with leaving symbolic items on the Moon as long as they did not affect the crew's training schedule and that the items met dimensional and weight requirements.  Scientists discovered later that the lunar dust has a different profile than terrestrial dust.
A felt tip pen saved the Apollo 11 mission.
 As of 2012, experts were unable to determine if the Apollo 14 and Apollo 15 flags were still standing. Buzz Aldrin saw it knocked over by the rocket blast as he and Neil Armstrong left the moon 39 summers ago. The landing of Apollo 13 was aborted due to a major spacecraft malfunction encountered before reaching the Moon. Building on President John F. Kennedy's 1961 plan to land a man on the Moon in the 1960s and bring him safely back to Earth, in January 1969 President Richard Nixon set an international tone for the Apollo program in his inaugural address:. Deploying the flag during the Apollo 11 mission proved to be a challenge. Find out even more exciting facts about Apollo 11 in this extensive article here. Due to the limits of the astronauts' spacesuits, the total height of the flagpole was limited to their 28-inch (71 cm) minimum and 66-inch (170 cm) maximum reach. Due to the heat of the exhaust from the descent engine, temperatures were calculated to be 250 °F (121 °C) for most of the landing, however they would increase to 2,000 °F (1,090 °C) during the final 13 seconds at touchdown. The shroud was estimated to cost several hundred dollars. The American public was canvassed and supported the idea. As he deployed it, Cernan said, "This was one of the proudest moments of my life. 160 Heartbeats per minute of Armstrong—NASA’s most relaxed commander—during lunar module Eagle’s final descent.  Due to the resolution of the LRO cameras, shadows from the fabric of the flag can be seen but the pole cannot, showing that the flags did not disintegrate entirely. The flags were carried on the outside of the Apollo Lunar Module (LM), most of them on the descent ladder inside a thermally insulated tubular case to protect them from exhaust gas temperatures calculated to reach 2,000 °F (1,090 °C). Aldrin also served the wine in a vial and poured it into a little silver chalice. And those minerals are tranquillityite, armalcolite, and pyroxferroite. , The flag, which had hung in the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) in the Mission Control Center through the prior Apollo landings, was flown to the Moon on the final mission, Apollo 17.
Saturn V at 51: NASA Moon Rocket Lifted Off on Maiden Mission 51 Years Ago. The Apollo 11 US flag placed on the Moon was knocked down by the Lunar Module take-off thrust. The flag assembly was stored immediately behind the left side of the LM ladder. However, five more American flags still stand on the Moon today. Since the horizontal latching mechanism for the flag of the Apollo 11 mission jammed, it had wrinkles, which gave it the appearance of motion in still photography. Pete Conrad and Alan Bean, the crew of Apollo 12, had trouble with the latch mechanism which was supposed to keep the supporting pole horizontal, so the flag they deployed drooped at an angle. I guarantee it. See also my posts on: What If Apollo 11 Failed and got stuck on the Moon?
Mathematicians such as Katherine Johnson were hired by NASA as “human computers” to verify that the calculations made by engineers were accurate.
 He worked out the details over several days, assisted by Deputy Division Chief Dave McCraw. Neil, Buzz, and Michael experienced excessive and ‘aromatic’ flatulence caused by hydrogen bubbles in their water. Some experts theorize that the colors of some flags may have turned white due to sunlight and space radiation, or that the fabric might have disintegrated entirely. This inspired an idea within NASA to have astronauts plant a United Nations flag on the first landing.  Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt carried a second, identical flag to the Moon and back, and presented it to flight controller Gene Kranz after the flight, to replace the one left on the Moon. Neil put the odds of success at only 50-50.
The flag was stored externally in the MESA, and was destroyed with the Lunar Module Aquarius when it reentered the Earth's atmosphere. Only three minerals were discovered from moon rock samples brought back by the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong wasn’t convinced the Apollo 11 crew would be able to land their lunar module on the Moon. What If Apollo 11 Failed and got stuck on the Moon.
The most common proposal among those solicited was to plant a flag. The new book ‘How We Got to the Moon’ will reveal a stunning look at Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon. As we explore the reaches of space, let us go to the new worlds together – not as new worlds to be conquered, but as a new adventure to be shared.  Four months after the Apollo 11 landing, the United States Congress passed a bill in November 1969, which was signed into law by President Nixon, stating:, The flag of the United States, and no other flag, shall be implanted or otherwise placed on the surface of the moon, or on the surface of any planet, by members of the crew of any spacecraft ... as part of any mission ... the funds for which are provided entirely by the Government of the United States. Almost 51 Years ago, on July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon for the first time in the time of human history. Buzz Aldrin handling the solar wind collector on the Moon. The assembly had to be designed with the astronauts' physical limitations in mind. Dust from Earth has rounded edges; dust from the Moon has sharp edges. I hope you enjoyed this short article about Apollo 11, unusual facts you should know.
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