Apollo 11: 50 years on and still just as weird
Apollo 11: 50 years on and still just as weird
7:55

Apollo 11: 50 years on and still just as weird

Science
Tonight it's the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing. And we're here to celebrate with all the weird facts you never knew about the Apollo 11 mission. Like, what does the moon smell like? Can you pull one in space and most importantly where do the astronauts put their pay? You've got the unnecessary questions and we've got the answers. I'm Claire Riley for Senate. Welcome to watch this space. [MUSIC] From the Cnet's Studios in New York, this is your guide to everything on earth you need to know about space. And tonight the Apollo 11 mission was 50 years ago and we're still Fascinated by it secrets. Now I'm not talking about who directed the moon landing or how they managed to get footage of Neil Armstrong stepping out of the lunar lander. Though if you're asking my answers, Stanley Kubrick and the camera was mounted on the outside of the spacecraft stop with you conspiracy theories already. That's right we didn't need conspiracy theories because it turns out the true story of the moon landing is actually super fascinating. First up, here's what you do know, July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins AKA the other guy, blasted off on the history making Apollo 11 mission Four days later on the 20th of July. Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the lunar surface in the Apollo lunar module known as Eagle and became the first men to walk on the moon. Here we go forever. All while Michael Collins patiently waited in his command module wondering whether his face would ever make it onto a commemorative coin. But enough of that. Let's get to the stuff you don't know. Number one, Neil Armstrong's first words on the moon. That's one small step for man, one One giant leap for mankind. Not only did he flub that line, apparently he meant to say it's one small step for a man, but they weren't even the first words to be said on the moon, not by a long shot. After Armstrong piloted the Eagle down onto the lunar surface, manually, we might add, Altering confirmed contact with the moon by saying contact light. A moment later, Armstrong went through the process of shutting down the engine and radio the word shut down to Houston. experts argue about which of these phrases was actually the first to be said when the lander had touched down on the surface of the moon. But one thing's for sure, the first words weren't one small step. In fact, it took Armstrong another six and a half hours to actually leave the lunar lander once they landed, presumably he spent that time trying to find his wallet and cleaning out candy wrappers from onto the site. Which brings us to number two snacks. What was the first food to be eating on the moon? No, it wasn't space ice cream. It was actually a communion wafer. Shortly after landing, Buzz Aldrin said Nice. I'd like to take this opportunity that every person listening in whoever, wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours. Give thanks and his or her own way, over..>> But it wasn't just a moment to pause and check out the view Aldrin carried a communion wafer and a plastic container of wine on board a polar, while the rest of the world was marveling at the landing Aldrin quietly poured his wine which he says code slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. So yes, you can pour wine in space but now you probably don't want to drink too much. Those spacesuits are kind of hard to unzip. Which brings us to number three. When you flying to the moon in a tiny space capsule, Where do you put your pay? Well, the answer is if you're an Apollo 11 astronaut, you just hide it in the walls. When they blasted off, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were suited up in every sense of the word right down to their ensuite urine collection bags. But this isn't a cross-country road trip we're talking about, you can't just toss your pay bag out the window. So the crews stowed them in lockers and labeled the locker doors. Nothing says Don't Open Door Number Two like the phrase smelly waste written on the door and incidentally nothing says Don't Open Door number two like being stuck in a bulky spacesuit. But that brings us to another story. Just be thankful that this wasn't Apollo 10. [MUSIC] During the Apollo 10 mission, and I'm quoting the official NASA transcript here, commander Tom Stafford spotted, quote, a turd flying through the air. The three astronauts spent a good deal of time rating its consistency to best decide who it belonged to. The majestic beauty of space travel. Next up. Could couldn't get a better Segway for this? Next up what does the moon smell like. Well despite all the pain in the walls the moon doesn't actually stink of smelly waste. In fact if you ask Buzz Aldrin. It actually smells kinda like fireworks. In his memoir Magnificent Desolation Aldrin described the smell of the room as a quote pungent metallic smell something like gunpowder or the smell in the air after a firecracker has gone off. Neil Armstrong, on the other hand, described it in the book tracking Apollo to the moon as the smell of quote, wet ashes in a fireplace. So they have it the moon either smells like fireworks and freedom. Or the cold dank smell of an abandoned Dickensian manner, Potato Potato. And finally, my favorite little known fact, you know the TV images of the moon landing the ones that were beamed all around the world. Well, you have Australia to thank for those. That's right. Despite all the money, time and engineering skill the folks at NASA put into the Apollo 11 mission and They were ultimately I'm done on the TV front biogeography. At the moment Armstrong and older and we're conducting AVA that's engineer talk for extra vehicular activity or moonwalk. The location of the United States in relation to the moon was geographically sub optimal, which is cloud talk for bad Thankfully, NASA wasn't alone. Through the entire mission, the space agency had been getting communications help from quite an unlikely place, the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station in Australia. Australia was part of a communication network of stations around the world supporting the Apollo 11 astronauts and all of the Apollo missions, of course, to the moon. Between 1969 and 1972. So we relayed commands to the spacecraft and to the Astronauts Voice Communication and data communication received back all the data and then got that straight off to mission control over in Houston Texas. When it came time for the moonwalk honeysuckle creek came into its own sharing the pictures the entire world had been waiting for And they were the station to originally receive and relay around the world to an audience of 600 million people as the story moments of Armstrong stepping on the moon for the very first time. From that tiny Outback outpost, the images went on to Houston and then around the world. Including to Pope Paul VI, who, according to NASA transcripts, had organized for a special color TV to be installed even though Italian TV was still black and white. Without those folks at Honeysuckle Creek, we might not have had the historic footage that defined the 60s, the entire space race, and arguably, the triumphs of humankind in the 20th century. So the next time you see an Australian, give them a hug for Neil buzz and make. Alright that's it for this week's very special edition of watch this space. If you've enjoyed our broadcast then please hit the like button on your remote and subscribe to get more space news as it happens. I'm Claire Riley for CNET and until next time, good night, and Godspeed.

Up Next

NASA's DART mission is out to save us from deadly asteroids
nasa-dart-explainer-vid-3

Up Next

NASA's DART mission is out to save us from deadly asteroids

Apollo 11: 50 years on and still just as weird
wts-apollo50th-thumb

Apollo 11: 50 years on and still just as weird

These rotating space colonies could be your future home
wts-spacecolonies-cnet-thumb

These rotating space colonies could be your future home

Aliens and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence
wts-seti-cnet

Aliens and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence

NASA isn't the only space agency trying to land on the moon
wts-moonshots-cnet-thumb

NASA isn't the only space agency trying to land on the moon

How black holes swallow light, warp space-time and blow your mind
wts-blackhole-cnet-thumb

How black holes swallow light, warp space-time and blow your mind

Jeff Bezos is giving Elon Musk a run for his money with Blue Origin
wts-blueorigin-thumb-cnet

Jeff Bezos is giving Elon Musk a run for his money with Blue Origin

Life in microgravity is a lot harder than you think
wts-lifewithoutgravity-cnet

Life in microgravity is a lot harder than you think

NASA wants to save the Earth from asteroids (with a giant DART)
wts-cnet-thumb-2

NASA wants to save the Earth from asteroids (with a giant DART)

NASA taps SpaceX, Boeing to bring space travel back under America's wing
wts-cpp-cnet-thumb

NASA taps SpaceX, Boeing to bring space travel back under America's wing

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones
240417-site-google-pixel-lab-exclusive-1

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus
240419-wtf-atlas-vs-optimus-v04

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus

What is the Fediverse?
240418-fediverse-winged

What is the Fediverse?

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission
240418-site-omt-the-core-problem-of-apples-green-goals-v1.jpg

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e
240417-site-fiat-500e-ev-drive-program-thumbnail-v3

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e

Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For
laptop-buying-guide-2024-00-02-36-12-still001

Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For

Most Popular All most popular

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)
innovation

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost
240123-site-samsung-galaxy-s24-ultra-review-4

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen
circlesearchpic

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop
asus-preces-00-00-25-11-still003

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions
samsung-galaxy-ring-clean

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024
240111-site-best-of-ces-2024-1

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024

Latest Products All latest products

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling
cnet-audiq6

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter
pic3

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar
240320-site-nuro-r3-first-look-v1

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day
240304-site-nothing-phone-2-first-look-v3

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More
240229-site-best-of-show-at-mwc

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display
240225-site-lenovo-translucent-laptop-concept-v3

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display

Latest How To All how to videos

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2
airpods-pro-2

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone
screenshot-2024-04-03-at-15-47-11.png

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features
240311-site-windows-11-hidden-tips-and-tricks-v2

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3
VisionOS 1.0.3

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra
240216-site-galaxy-s24-ultra-tips-and-hidden-features-2

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro
tiktok-on-vision-pro-clean

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro