Mankind's "giant leap"

Lesson Date : 2019-08-05
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Neil Armstrong was an American astronaut. He was the first man to walk on the Moon. As he put his foot on the surface he said the words “that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. Many people believe that the 1969 Moon landing was one of the most remarkable events in history.

On July 16, 1969, a rocket took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins into space. This year’s July 16 was the 50th anniversary of the start of the Moon landing mission, or Apollo 11. Four days after leaving the Earth, Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the Moon. Collins stayed part of the spaceship that continued to orbit the Moon. Armstrong died in 2012, aged 82. Buzz Aldrin is now 89 years old and Collins is 88.

After the end of the Second World War in 1945, the U.S. and the Russian-led Soviet Union became enemies. The two countries began an unofficial competition that became known as the Space Race. Both countries wanted to be the first to land a man on the Moon. In 1957, Russia sent the first satellite into orbit and the first living thing into space. It was a dog called Laika. The dog died of overheating. In 1961, a Russian was the first person in space. His spacecraft orbited the Earth once. At that time, John F. Kennedy was the American president. He announced that within ten years, the U.S. would land a man on the Moon and return him safely back to Earth.

NASA is the U.S. space agency. Its plan for the Moon landing was called Project Apollo. Each Apollo mission tested equipment and flight plans. Apollo 1 was a disaster. Its three astronauts died as a fire broke out before the rocket took off. In 1968, Apollo 8 became the first manned spacecraft to orbit the Moon and return to the Earth. Apollo 11 was the first to try to land on the Moon.

Apollo 11 traveled 386,000 kilometers. It took three days to get to the Moon. The spacecraft separated into two. Armstrong and Aldrin were in the Lunar Module or the “Eagle”. Collins stayed in the Command and Service Module. The Lunar Module landed on the Moon. About 600 million people all around the world watched it on live television. Armstrong and Aldrin collected rock and soil samples, took photographs, set up some experiments, and planted an American flag. They spent two hours and 20 minutes on the Moon. A few days later, the three astronauts returned to Earth on the Command Module. It landed in the Pacific Ocean.

NASA's last manned Moon mission was Apollo 17 in 1972. In total, twelve astronauts have walked on the Moon. All were Americans. Recently, NASA has announced plans for another manned Moon mission in 2024. Many people predict that this will be the start of space mining, tourism and research.


ISSUES : Should NASA send another manned mission to the Moon?

Period : 2019-08-05 ~ 2019-09-05
Manager's Pro Opinion
Yes, NASA should send another manned mission to the Moon. It has been a long time since the Apollo missions. Modern-day technology will allow scientists to do a more detailed study of the Moon. NASA could set up a space station on the Moon. The new Moon mission could also be used to test technologies that will send humans to Mars. If NASA wants to be the leader in spaceflights, it should send humans back to the Moon.
Manager's Con Opinion
No, NASA should not send another manned mission to the Moon. There is no reason for a further mission of this type. The cost and safety of the mission are important factors to consider. Humans do not need to go back to the Moon. Nowadays, it is less expensive and safer to use robots. Advanced robotic devices can gather much more information and stay on the Moon’s surface for many years. What’s more, sending robots into space does not endanger human life.
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