Gotta Watch: How we got to the moon
Apollo 11's lunar module, the Eagle, ascends.
November 16th, 2011
11:06 AM ET

Gotta Watch: How we got to the moon

The first moon landing was one of the nation’s most historic must-see events. An estimated 600 million people around the world tuned in to see Apollo 11 touch down on the moon. Today, the astronauts who flew to the moon are making a rare joint appearance to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, along with former senator and astronaut John Glenn. You’ve no doubt seen the moon landing footage. Now go behind the scenes and learn more about what it took to get Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon.

Cutting edge – The computer on the lunar module had 36kb of memory—that’s less than a calculator holds now. Check out the giant technological leaps we’ve made since that historic trip.

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Spacesuit seamstresses – The complex spacesuits that the astronauts wore made the difference between life and death for the Apollo 11 crew. See the initial drawings of the suits and meet the women who sewed them. You can also read more about this story here.

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An astronaut’s life – LIFE photographer Ralph Morse shares rare photos of the astronauts and their families in the 1960s before the famous Apollo 11 mission. See the unusual family portrait he took at three minutes into the video.

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Filed under: Gotta Watch • NASA • Shuttle • Space
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. Noah

    My father was a NASA flight engineer and I was present at 9 launches from the cape in the 60's and 70's.

    To those who would make some silly conspiracy of the moon landings, your time might be better spent doing something useful for your fellow citizens.

    To those that lived through the greatest period in American history, we will come back, we will prevail, we will again be a beacon to the world of what freedom, ingenuity and hard work can produce. The whining socialist sheep would have us believe we need the government to provide for our needs, but they forget that we made the government and we can change it. America will not circle the drain of a socialist state, we will rise above the lazy, critical and self disenfranchised and reach for the stars again.

    November 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. To Conspiracy Theorists

    There were some unmanned trips to the moon earlier this year taking hi-res pictures of both lunar rover tracks and astronaut footprints on the moon......

    November 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jerry

    Debating the story presented is only ONE side of the issue. Debating the reporting or what information is being given in that piece, is another. Question the Media at all times!

    November 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Space Monkey

    I went through a phase of not believing the hype.....I believe they made it to the moon but i'm not stupid to think that times are somehow the same as they were. It was a "throw more people at the problem" philosophy back then. Meaning, we didn't mind killing a bunch of animals or humans if it beat the other countries there (flexing our scientific muscle). These days, there are calls to shut anything down that might risk human or animal life. In fact the only way we could gain interest in space again is if we either made it a reality television show or if there was a planet made of precious gems or mineral out there that would be worth mining(commercial)........the MAJORITY of people just don't care anymore.......in fact if an alien landed on our back lawns tomorrow we wouldn't flinch....it's just not that interesting from a non-research perspective anymore. So yes it WAS cool how we made it to the moon but we don't care about going to mars or even to the moon again. Now send a habitation pod out and monitor the lives of those on the ship and you will gain some serious interest again, until then quit wasting our time.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joker13

    Hey Slim Shady,
    Go pull up some Mythbusters episodes from On Demand, they covered all the "evidence" you posted and more, including the supposed "waving flag". Everything was proven to suport a moon landing, including the "multipe light sources" issue with some shadows. Get a clue dude, every nation in the world has confirmed the landing, including many who would live nothing better than to disprove it. If you honestly believe some random internet bloggers have better access to the "truth" than the governments of China, Russia, etc, then the only truth we can know with certainty is that you are a moron.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BOMBO

    I'll bet dinosaurs didn't exist either.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SgtSerge

    SlimShardy – 🙂
    Here is the link you need, it is images from the LRO mission where they mapped the entire light side of the moon. The images show the landing zones, foot prints, all of it, and from far enough you can tell they are the real deal.
    But let me guess these were made up as well?
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/apollo-sites.html

    November 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • golfnugget

      Who is providing these videos? Thats right NASA. Instantly takes away credibility of the evidence.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • SgtSerge

      Really? So anything with NASA you don't trust? Well there you have your answer, you don't look at images and decide for yourself, you see NASA and say "oh any credibility is gone"?
      Wow you are a dumb one. You have images to view yourself, I watch the LRO live, watch the process, saw the first images sent back.

      Think I will take what I saw vs. what you think of NASA.

      You need more tin foil to keep your brains from leaking....

      November 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mr.Russo

    Yes, the United States landed men on on the moon. It was a great accomplishment.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. SgtSerge

    SlimShardy –
    Here is the link you need, it is images from the LRO mission where they mapped the entire light side of the moon. The images show the landing zones, foot prints, all of it, and from far enough you can tell they are the real deal.
    But let me guess these were made up as well? MORON! Please don't ignor facts, your video of the flag waving is very simple, they were holding it waving it, look at the full video you will see this. Video is on the same youtube you posted you video from, so no excuse why you can not do a little fact checking.
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/apollo-sites.html

    November 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sean

    Where does the artical show what network to watch this program on??

    November 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bob

    For all of the doubters out there... http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/apollo-sites.html

    November 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • golfnugget

      Your link is to a NASA website providing NASA's so-called evidence. What are they going to say? Oh yeah, by the way we didn't really go to the moon and we have been spending billions of your taxpayer dollars to cover it up?

      November 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marty in MA

    It was an awesome achievement with such little technology, in comparison with today.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    As long as there are life-changing events, there will also be conspiracy theorists waiting to pick it apart for their own pleasure.

    There will also be people who post the pablum just to get posters in a tizzy.
    Because they know, deep down, that they're wrong, but they crave attention that arguing a conspiracy gives them.

    They landed on the moon. Let it go.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Because it was the astronaut waved said flag, Earl Weaver.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. talent

    with such a tremendous leap in technology,why hasnt there been another attempt 2 do the same thing.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Because we have turned into a nation of fat, lazy, stupid whiners and quitters. Want proof? Watch the next GOP debate.

      November 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
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