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Significance of the Apollo Program

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Kurt Nunn

on 10 May 2013

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Transcript of Significance of the Apollo Program

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli Purpose of the Apollo Program On May 25, 1961, John F. Kennedy made a speech to Congress, in which he proposed a mission to land a man on the moon within the decade

The initial purpose of the Apollo Program, as well as the rest of the Space Race, was to prove that America's economic and political system was better than that of the Soviet Union

In effect, the Space Race was a 'proxy war', where the United States and the Soviet Union could directly compete against each other without having to worry about nuclear weapons being used Works Cited http://history.nasa.gov/1658.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-Earthrise.jpg Launched on December 21, 1968, and became the first manned vehicle to escape low Earth orbit, circle the Moon, and return safely

The astronauts broadcasted a live reading of the first Book of Genesis while orbiting the Moon, on Christmas Eve

It was the most-watched TV transmission of all time, up to that point

The mission itself is significant because it "saved 1968"

That year was marked by the war in Vietnam, Civil Rights and anti-war protests, and the assassination of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, jr. Apollo 8 During the Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon on July 21, 1969.

They collected moon rock samples, set up a few scientific experiments, planted an American flag and a plaque

Over 500 million people (14% of the world's population) watched the moon landing live Apollo 11 'Earthrise' Context The Apollo program was the most expensive peacetime investment of any nation in history

The total cost was over 25 billion dollars (almost $200 billion in today's money)

Over 400,000 Americans were employed at the project's peak, with 20,000 businesses and universities also participating in the project Technologies Pioneered in the Apollo Missions Many new technologies had to be developed in the initial phases the Apollo program in order to address the unique challenges presented in a lunar environment

Most of these inventions were designed and manufactured by private contractors, and later used in commercial products A non-flammable material called 'Durette' was developed in response to a fire that broke out in the Apollo 1 capsule in 1967, which killed all three crew members.

The fabric is widely used in flame-resistant clothing, for jobs such as firefighting and professional car racing Cost A problem with manned space flight is ensuring that the astronauts don't run out of water, while also not weighing the spacecraft down

In response, NASA scientists discovered a way to recycle water by filtering it with silver ions

This method is used widely in community water supplies, swimming pools, spas, fountains, and cooling towers The Soviet Union had already launched the first artificial satellite, first animal to survive a spaceflight, first man in space, first woman in space, first person to complete a space walk, and the first lunar probe by the time Apollo 11 reached the Moon.

In addition, the recent failure of the American-backed invasion of Cuba in the Bay of Pigs damaged it's international standing and made the Communist world appear stronger than it actually was

Kennedy decided that one of the best ways to restore America's international reputation was by strengthening our space program The Saturn V rockets used during the Apollo program are the largest, heaviest, and most powerful ever made, which means that they required a huge amount of thrust to get off the ground

An independent firm contracted by NASA developed a shock and vibration system, which was used to simulate the forces created during liftoff

Later on, the private contractors hired to create this system would use it to test cargo transportation vehicles and highway pavements, without damaging the surrounding area Cultural Significance The Apollo Program is culturally significant because it changed the way we think about Earth and our environment.

It gave Americans something to be proud of, in the wake of unrest caused by the Vietnam War, political assassinations, and the struggle for equal rights.

It had inspired countless works of film, literature, art, and music. Many photographs of Earth were taken during the Apollo missions

“The Blue Marble”, taken by astronauts in the Apollo 17 spacecraft, was a significant factor in the rise of environmentalism in the 1970s.

It is one of the most widely distributed photographic images in existence

It's currently the official flag for Earth Day, and a symbol of Environmentalism. "The Blue Marble" Political Significance The original goal of the program, reaching the Moon within the decade, was accomplished successfully after Apollo 11

The mission helped to restore America's international reputation after it had been damaged by the the early successes of the Soviet Union's space program and the failed Bay of Pigs invasion

The Space Race effectively ended when the Apollo Program was canceled in 1972. Conclusion The Apollo Program fulfilled Kennedy's pledge to land a man a man on the Moon within the decade

America's superiority was re-asserted over the Soviet Union

Many new technologies were developed

Scientific knowledge of the Moon was enhanced

It was arguably the "single greatest technological achievement of all time"

Probably worth 25 billion dollars Secondary Sources:

"1962 - Aerospace Systems Are First the Applications for ICs in Computers." Computer History
Museum. Computer History Museum, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.
Jones, John. "Apollo Spinoffs." Apollo Spinoffs. NASa, 1 May 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.
"NASA Apollo 11 30th Anniversary." NASA Apollo 11 30th Anniversary. NASA, 20 Sept. 2002.
Web. 18 Mar. 2013.
Petsko, Gregory A. "The Blue Marble." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S.
National Library of Medicine, 28 Apr. 2011. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.
"Space Race." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. Ed. Thomas Carson and Mary Bonk.
Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2000. 944-946. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 22 Mar. 2013.

Primary Sources:

Aldrin, Buzz, and Wayne Warga. Return to Earth. New York: Random House, 1973. Web.
Beattie, Donald A. Taking Science to the Moon: Lunar Experiments and the Apollo Program.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2001. Print.
Houbolt, John C. Enchanted Rendezvous: John C. Houbolt and the Genesis of the Lunar-Orbit
Rendezvous Concept. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.
<http://history.nasa.gov/monograph4.pdf>. The Apollo Guidance Computer was a digital computer designed to assist the crew of an Apollo mission, by calculating their trajectory during spaceflight

It was an important step in the early development of integrated circuits, which is what modern computers are based on

At one point, a significant portion of the world's supply integrated circuits went into the manufacturing of Apollo Guidance Computers

The computer could hold about thirty-nine thousand words of memory Apollo Guidance Computer A chemical process that removes toxic waste from fluids was discovered by NASA during the Apollo Program

They used this discovery to develop dialysis machines that do not need to be hooked up to a constant water supply

It is currently being used to assist patients suffering from kidney failure Important Apollo Missions Images (in the order that they appear on the presentation):
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