1 After lighting the blue touch paper

Apollo 11's Saturn rockets were powerful enough to potentially fire large pieces of shrapnel up to three miles if take off malfunctioned. NASA sensibly seated spectators 3.5 miles from the launch pad.

2 The Ins and Outs

Drinking water was produced as a by-product of the fuel cell, but the filters worked poorly, causing the drinks to be fizzy and unpleasant.

Astronauts added grapefruit drink (not TANG, as famously used on the Gemini missions) to mask the taste.

The problem of using the toilet in zero gravity hadn't really been given much attention. One astronaut took the extreme step of taking pills to make himself constipated for the whole trip rather than face that particular horror.

3 Processing Power

A mobile phone now has more processing power than the Apollo computers had available.

4 Blown off course

When the Eagle detached from the main ship piloted by Michael Collins, incomplete depressurisation caused a 'pop' similar to that which fires a champagne cork across the room.

It fired the Eagle four miles off course from its intended landing site - probably the worst attempt at parking ever.

5 Running on empty

Neil Armstrong nearly ran out of fuel whilst landing the Eagle, risking a crash. However, this removed another risk: the exhaust shooting back up on landing and igniting the remaining fuel.

6 One small leap for man

The shock absorbers didn't compress when the Eagle landed, so Armstrong's walk on the Moon started with a 3.5 feet drop. Of course he could have fallen much further than that without risk, given the Moon's weak gravity.

7 I thought you had the keys?

Buzz Aldrin had to be careful when joining Armstrong on the surface as, like 10 Downing Street, the Eagle had no way of opening its door from the outside.

8 Has someone cleaned up around here?

The Moon's surface was expected to be thick with dust. Armstrong and Aldrin instead found about an inch of dust covering rock, and struggled to make the US flag stay up.

Once it was in place, they simply tried not to disturb it, but it was blown over when the Eagle returned to orbit anyway.

Creationists have gone on to claim that if the solar system is as old as scientists think it is, there should be thicker layers of dust on the moon.

9 In association with...

The Stars and Stripes flag they were trying to plant was made by Sears.

NASA refused to mention this, as they did not want 'another Tang'.

Tang was the orange drink (named after tangerine) which had been used on the Gemini flights, and the association was heavily advertised, which NASA eventually found annoying.

10 It's a cardie on the inside

The inner lining of the space suits, not to mention the Read-only memory chips for the ship's computers, were made by 'little old ladies'.


Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles we have one of the World's finest selections of Apollo memorabilia. Click here to see a few choice pieces.


List compiled by Xtremequips.com. 


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