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The Success In The "Space Race"

2777 words - 12 pages

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” (Fleming). The Soviet Union had beat the United States into space. However, the U.S was the first man of the moon. John F. Kennedy wanted to beat the Soviet Union to the moon, since they beat the U.S into space. Apollo 11 was the first spacecraft to ever land on the moon. Training had to be done, after astronauts were chosen. Getting them into space was tricky as well. The smaller mission of Apollo 11 was to successfully land on the moon and come home safely. The success of landing Apollo 11 on the moon and bringing it back safely, led to further investigation of the moon.
For the mission, astronauts had to be chosen carefully. Getting ready to walk on the moon was difficult because no one knew what the moon’s surface would be like. For the astronaut selection, it was thought that a test pilot would make better candidates because they would know how to fly and use some of the controls. Being a test pilot meant they were skilled at flying and would be able to learn the controls a lot easier than someone who had never flown before. They had to be shorter than five foot eleven inches so they fit comfortably in the spacecraft. Each candidate had to go through a fitness test. They were tested on how strong their lungs and physical conditions were. Several groups of men were picked for the Apollo missions(Vogt 15).
Once the astronauts were chosen, the real training for the moon could begin. The astronauts had a lot of learning to do. Nobody knew what the moon was actually like, so they had to be trained to be prepared for the worst possible situation that the scientists could come up with. One of the biggest things they needed to learn was to be able to move in their suits, which were full body suits that weighed more than they did. They also created an aircraft named KC-135. A pilot would take the astronauts into the sky and would fly a parabolas, which made them capable of being weightless for twenty to thirty seconds at a time (Kraft). They also used a Lunar Landing Training Vehicle to learn how to control the lunar module. It is a simulator that gives real life simulations on landing on the moon. This was thought to be more hazardous than flying the actual lunar module (Kraft). They would use pools and put their suits on with their air tanks and go underwater to gain experience and develop ways to use tools and move around as if they were in space. Being trained in geology was needed so they knew what space rocks to bring back for scientists to study and learn more about the moon. To learn geology they traveled to different places to study different kinds of rocks. They observed in the Grand Canyon, the Rio Grande gorge, the volcanic islands of Hawaii, and volcanic regions of Arizona(Vogt 17-19). Going to these different places helped them look at the different types of rocks and learn how to determine what kind of rocks they were looking at. To learn how to fly, they would...

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