Everybody knows that Apollo 11 mission was successful and it was the first time Men from earth set foot on the Moon.
But then there’s another side of this story which isn’t really very famous among the masses.
After spending ~21 hours on the Moon, Buzz Aldrin & Neil Armstrong were finally preparing for the lift off from the moon surface in their Lunar Module(Eagle) to join Mike Collins who was orbiting the in the command module(Columbia).
While prepping for the lift off, Neil Armstrong noticed a piece of ‘something’ lying on the floor. It turned out that it was a circuit breaker switch that got broken while moving inside the Eagle by Buzz Aldrin .
It wasn’t just another switch, it was the circuit breaker switch that was supposed to fire up the main engine for lift off. Since the switch was broken, it would prevent the main engine ignition and could leave both astronauts stranded on the Moon for forever.
At this time, Aldrin pulled out the felt-tipped pen from his pocket and inserted into the opening where the circuit breaker switch(broken now) should have been, and pushed it inside. Interestingly(& luckily) this idea did work and they were finally going to get off the moon.
In case of failure to launch the Eagle, Mission Control would have closed the communication and left those two astronauts abandoned on Moon to either starve to death or commit suicide.
White House even had a contingency plan in the event the astronauts were stranded on the moon. President Nixon would call each of the ‘widow to-be’, followed by the president reading the speech “In Event of Moon Disaster” written by his speech writer William Safire, followed by a burial procedure by priest, commending their souls to “the deepest of the deep”.
Below is the full speech
Link to archive- https://goo.gl/Cv7BVK
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
Image source- Google