Space: From McLean To The Moon / Apollo 11





I’m sure most people have heard of the historic Apollo 11 mission to land a man on the Moon. When we hear about this, we most likely think about Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon. But others don’t recognize the importance of the hundreds of people who helped accomplish this once thought impossible feat. There were many uncertainties, however. Some worries included the rocket’s fire on the landing craft would react with the dust covering the lunar surface. Others included computer malfunctions, which did actually occur, but it was quickly solved before the mission was put in jeopardy.

Let me start with one person who made the whole Moon landing possible. Michael Collins was born on October 31st, 1930 in Rome, Italy. He was aboard the spacecraft Columbia orbiting above the Moon as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon for 21 and a half hours! The reason he wasn’t walking the Moon with the other astronauts was because he had to stay aboard the spacecraft and ensure that Neil and Buzz were secured to Columbia so they could begin their journey home.

Some of you may know after the first Moon landing that several other astronauts walked on the lunar surface. One of the astronauts was named Alan Bean. Very surprisingly, this astronaut actually came to McLean Middle School AND R.L. Paschal High School. From McLean to the Moon! Alan Bean was born on March 15th, 1932 in Wheeler, Texas. Alan Bean was the 4th man to walk on the Moon, and is recognized in FWISD for his achievements, such as visiting the Moon. Sadly, Alan Bean passed away at the age of 86 surrounded by his family and others who loved him. He is now a part of the Hall of Fame at Paschal High School. Alan Bean was on the Apollo 12 mission led by NASA in November of 1969.

Think about this for a second. How complex is a rocket? I’ll bet you’re just going to say, “oh, it’s so crazy weird that I could probably never make one”. That’s what most NASA engineers said when they first took on the mission of Apollo 11. Some people at NASA even said it was impossible to get those men back safely on Earth by 1969. With what seemed like a very little time period, no one thought it was going to be possible. Well, now we have been proven wrong, and one day we will go back to the Moon. Very soon actually, in 2024. That’s also the same year another solar eclipse will occur. The mission name, Artemis III. The first Moon landing in over 50 years! Pretty dang exciting. Hopefully in the future, we can all follow in the footsteps of Alan Bean on the Moon. 


Thanks For Reading!