One Giant Leap

Buzz Aldrin walks on the Moon (1969)

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Today’s students are living in a world of technological marvels—and while they’ve probably heard of the Apollo 11 moon landing, they might not understand just how daring and improbable this feat really was when it was undertaken in 1969, more than 50 years ago.

Here are just a few of the eye-popping statistics surrounding the Apollo 11 mission that can help bring the history-changing event to life for your students:

600 million

The number of people estimated to have watched the television broadcast of the moon landing, worldwide.

3 refrigerators

The size of an average computer in 1969. The Apollo 11 computer was roughly the size of a briefcase.

21 layers

The spacesuits worn by Apollo 11 astronauts were painstakingly hand-woven by employees of Playtex, an underwear manufacturer.

5,000 degrees Fahrenheit

The temperature generated by the reentry of the Apollo capsule into Earth’s atmosphere.

And for a trip back in time, show students this archival footage of scenes from the Apollo 11 mission, including the launch, moon orbit, and Neil Armstrong’s famous first steps on the lunar surface:

This video is part of ABC-CLIO’s Pop Culture Universe: Icons, Idols, Ideas database, your platform for teaching American history through the cultural lenses of literature, radio, television, film, fashion, sports, technology, and more! Click here to activate your free preview of this database!

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