The Eagle has landed

24 Jul

The Earth and the Moon

“The Eagle has landed” said Aldrin and Armstrong to NASA control as they touched down on the Moon 40 years ago this week.  In honour of this event, we visited the Science Museum in London at the weekend to learn more about Apollo 11 and the men who first walked on the Moon.

We watched an excellent demonstration (with a football standing in for Earth and a tennis ball standing in for the Moon) explaining exactly Apollo 10 landing capsulewhat happened to the Apollo 11 from take off until the landing capsule parachuted down to Earth at the end of it’s voyage.  We also had a look at the REAL landing capsule of Apollo 10, which circumnavigated the Moon just months before Apollo 11 landed on it.

Things we learnt about space travel and the Apollo 11:

  • The name of the third astronaut, who did not step on the Moon, is Michael Collins or ‘the loneliest man in the universe’.
  • The part of the spaceship which landed on the Moon is still there.  It is covered in gold so if you want to make a lot of money, find a way to get it off the Moon. 
  • The only part of the Apollo rockets to make it back to Earth is the tiny landing capsule, which the three astronauts have to spend seven days in.  The brown colouring (see pic above) is burnt metal caused by the extreme friction experienced when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Astronauts wear nappies which they wee into.  The wee is then sucked out by a tube and sent into space.  Some astronauts said that the floating, frozen wee crystals were the most beautiful sight they’d ever seen.
  • If you want to poo in space, you have to sellotape a bag to your bottom.  When finished, you seal the bag, write your name, the time and what you ate for lunch on the bag, then put it in a cupboard until you get back to earth.  NASA scientists then analyse the poo.  Nice.

DSC_0599I’ve been following the excellent, ApolloPlus40 on Twitter for a few weeks, which has been giving realtime updates based on what was happening 40 years ago.  For a full run down of what happended, check out their recent tweets.

This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby. For more pictures, click here.


9 Responses to “The Eagle has landed”

  1. Dancinfairy 24/07/2009 at 12:54 pm #

    Interesting facts! We are not talking about the moon landings in our house as the cynical husband does not believe it was real and I am too pregnant to hold a civilised discussion about the subject and just start getting mad!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 24/07/2009 at 1:39 pm #

      Oh it’s terrible arguing when you’re pregnant. You just end up in tears then the man in question completely loses all respect for you and starts muttering about hormones.

  2. Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish 24/07/2009 at 1:09 pm #

    I am adding this space museum to our growing London list. My six year old son is obsessed with space right now and he especially loves some of the same facts you mentioned about bodily functions! If you ever get the chance to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, I highly recommend it…especially before the space shuttles are discontinued in 2010. Sadly, we missed last week’s launch.

  3. WOB 24/07/2009 at 5:40 pm #

    eww poo in a bag and then have it analysed – that’s just so wrong! Very informative post though – i’m off now to try and come up with a plan to get that gold 🙂 x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 24/07/2009 at 7:15 pm #

      It seems like a great plan until you realise that the gold on the moon is probably worth less than the cost of getting to the moon. Hmmm.

  4. Tim 24/07/2009 at 8:48 pm #

    I remember watching all of the liftoffs from Freedom 7 (Project Mercury, Alan Sheppard) all the way through Apollo 18. (including the horrible tragedy of Apollo 1) on television. During Project Mercury we would take a break at school and watch the blast off on TV.
    By the Apollo Program I was in high school and we waited to come home to watch. By the time we got to the Space Shuttle it had become routine, then came the Challenger Disaster,
    The landing on the moon as unforgettable for all of us. We grew up with this, it’s part of my history.

  5. Heather on her travels 24/07/2009 at 10:54 pm #

    The science has got to be the top place for kids of all ages – I was really impressed when I went there last year.

  6. Bridget Smith 25/07/2009 at 12:32 am #

    If you are ever in Seattle the Aviation Museum there has an amazing exhibit about the US Space program including a Space Shuttle that you can walk in.

    This looks like a fascinating exhibit as well.

  7. Brit in Bosnia 29/07/2009 at 7:03 pm #

    So it is NASA scientist and mummys of potty training toddlers who are obsessed by poo. At least ours is just a passing (ho ho) phase.

    (oh dear, too much coffee. Step away from the keyboard… step away now)

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