5 Things You Didn't Know About the Apollo Missions

On December 11, 1972, man landed on the moon for the last time during the Apollo 17 mission. Here are 5 shocking facts that you probably didn't know about the Apollo missions...

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Duct Tape Was Used to Repair One of the Moon Buggies # Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, made news worldwide when Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Image source: WikiCommons A crew member with Apollo 17 accidentally broke off a fender extension of the LRV Lunar Rover with a hammer. Although they tried to repair it with duct tape, which was necessary to keep out dust, after about an hour, the fender fell off again. They eventually used lunar maps, along with clamps, to construct a makeshift fender.

The Apollo II Moon Landing Tape Is Missing # Apollo 1 astronauts Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee, died in 1967 when their command module caught fire during a simulation. Image source: WikiCommons The tapes of the Apollo 11 moon landing with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr and Michael Collins couldn’t be found in 2009 when NASA decided to restore them. Because of a shortage of the tapes used by NASA at the time, they were forced to reuse some of those stored in the archives. Low-quality audio versions of the astronaut's conversations are available, but the original videos are missing.

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You Can Thank NASA’s Apollo Program for Many New Convenience Items A number of household items were invented because they were needed on the space missions for the Apollo program. Probably the most commonly used invention is the portable vacuum cleaner (a.k.a. the Dustbuster) because NASA required a lightweight, cordless vacuum. Cordless tools such as cordless drills, grass shears and shrub trimmers also have a background with the Apollo missions. Both the mini cordless vacuum and motors for the cordless drill and other tools were developed using a computer program designed by Black & Decker.

An Emmy Was Awarded to Apollo VII’s Crew Apollo 7 introduced superstars when astronauts Walter Cunningham, Wally Schirra and Donn Eisele broadcast for the first time on live television from their spacecraft. Nicknamed the “Wally, Walt and Donn Show,” they gave tours of Apollo 7 and showed how they prepared meals without gravity, as well as cracked jokes throughout. The broadcasts were so well received by the television audience that when the astronauts returned to Earth, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gave them a special Emmy for their efforts.

The Astronauts’ Spacesuits Were Designed by a Brassiere Company Playtex, the well-known bra and girdle manufacturer, is the company to thank for the astronauts’ snappy spacesuits. Neil Armstrong wore one in July 1969 when he took his walk on the moon and made his famous statement, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The spacesuit division for Playtex split from the company in 1967 and works under the name ILC Dover as a contractor for NASA.




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