NASA originally hired Playtex to make the Apollo 11 spacesuits, cross my heart! Somehow the Playtex design got passed along to a company named Hamilton Standard, which dropped the Playtex plan and submitted something entirely different, which NASA HATED. At that point, some Playtex workers sneaked into Hamilton Standard offices to steal back the original Playtex design. They were successful. NASA loved the end result, and Neil, Buzz and Michael suited up in Playtex space rompers!
Here are some other aspects of the Apollo 11 mission you may not have known:
There was no back up plan. If something had gone wrong, Michael Collins would have been forced to come home, and leave Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to die on the moon. In fact, President Richard Nixon has his famous speechwriter William Safire write an address to the nation in the event of a moon mission disaster. Please see the text here.
The Russians came close to beating us….almost! Russia had raced to get an unmanned spacecraft to the moon, and when the Apollo 11 astronauts entered the lunar orbit, Russia’s Luna 15 was already there. The Luna 15 mission was to mechanically scoop moon soil up, and fly quickly back to earth with the sample….allowing Russia to claim victory in the race to land on the moon. However, Armstrong and Aldrin had already set foot on moon when Luna 15 fired its’ engines to land, and promptly crashed.
Neil Armstrong blew his line. Or did he? People watching and listening to Neil Armstrong’s first words from the moon heard, “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” He was supposed to say, “That’s one small step for A man…” Neil Armstrong ALWAYS insisted that he DID say one small step for A man. Linguists and researchers have studied the tapes for years and concluded in many cases that the “A” is in there. Others say it’s not, and still others insist it was a tiny glitch in the broadcast.