QUIZ: Test your Apollo 11 knowledge!


Pat Collins, left, Jan Armstrong and Joan Aldrin, the wives of the Apollo 11 astronauts, greet their husbands on arrival at Ellington Air Force base near Houston, Texas. The crew still were under a 21 day quarantine in a Mobile Quarantine Facility, which served as their home until they reached the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) Lunar Receiving Laboratory.

Courtesy of NASA

Hello, space cadets! In July, the world — and Brevard in particular — celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Here’s some trivia to add to your space savviness.

What was the name of the rocket that carried the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon?

Why were the spectators so far away from the launch site?

How tiny was Neil Armstrong’s “one small step?”

Speaking of one small step, what did Armstrong really say when he stepped on the moon?

Which of the three astronauts aboard Apollo 11 did not step on the moon in 1969?

Which astronaut had a song written about him?

How much did the Apollo program cost?

How powerful were the Apollo 11 computers?

What was the cuisine like on the moon for Aldrin and Armstrong?

How about drinks?

Who made the famous flag that was planted on the moon?

What is on the plaque Armstrong and Aldrin left on the moon?


The Answers




1. The massive Saturn V, a 363-foot-tall beast, was responsible. You can walk under one of them at Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex.

2. With enough fuel to throw 100-pound shrapnel 3 miles away, the Saturn V could have done a lot of damage were it to have exploded during the takeoff. NASA thought it best to seat VIP spectators 3½ miles away, just to be safe.

3. Actually, it was pretty big, because Armstrong was such a good pilot that he landed the lunar module very gently and the shock absorbers that were supposed to compress did not, requiring Armstrong to take a 3½-foot leap for his boots to touch the moon.

4. Neil Armstrong was adamant that he had said “one step for a man,” but many folks didn’t hear that little “a,” which made a big difference.

“Certainly the ‘a’ was intended, because that’s the only way the statement makes any sense,” countered the astronaut in a 2006 biography.

5. That would be Michael Collins, who circled the Moon awaiting his colleagues’ return.

6. That would again be Michael Collins, for Jethro Tull penned “For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me” as a musical poem about the loneliness Collins must have felt waiting for the return of Aldrin and Armstrong.

7. It took $24 billion, comparable to $100 billion today, to enlist the 400,000 engineers, scientists and technicians required to put a man on the Moon.

8. They had less processing power than a high-end cellphone of today.

9. It certainly was no cruise ship buffet, but the astronauts did have two meal choices: bacon squares and beef stew.

10. Tang to the contrary, drinking water was the beverage of choice. A by-product of the fuel cells, the water was bubbly because the hydrogen gas filters didn’t work during the mission.

11. According to Craig Nelson, author of “Rocket Men,” Sears provided the flag. NASA did not credit the company in order to avoid another “Tang” episode.

12. “Here men from the Planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

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