July 20th, 1969 : the first man on the Moon .

Old Fashion, was there.

Old Fashion was founded in 1933, and since then has accompanied the Milanese nights through the evolution of History. That’s why it is the only place always ready to celebrate and remember an event of the past: telling these, it also tells a little of itself.
And 2019 is definitely a year full of anniversaries.
Perhaps because 1969 was a truly prolific year of events. We started our roundup of recurrences with New Year’s Eve 2019 dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock concert, passing through the anniversary of the Gay Pride on June 27th ( the Stonewall riots ) and we continue also on July 20th 2019 celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the first step Man on an extraterrestrial body: the Moon.

Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin

The protagonists

On 20 July 1969 at 20:17:40 UTC (Universal Time) Apollo 11 brought the first men to the Moon: they were the US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Armstrong was the first to set foot on lunar soil, six hours later than the landing, on 21 July at 02.56 UTC while Aldrin arrived 19 minutes later.

The third member of the mission, Michael Collins (pilot of the command module), remained in lunar orbit while the other two were on the surface; after 21.5 hours from the landing, the astronauts gathered and Collins piloted the Columbia command module on the trajectory of return to Earth. The mission ended on July 24, with landing in the Pacific Ocean.


Saturn V – Apollo 11 Mission

The rocket

Launched by a Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center, on July 16th at 13:32 UTC, Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program. The Apollo spacecraft consisted of three parts: a “Columbia” Command Module (CM) that housed the three astronauts and is the only part recessed to Earth, a Service Module (SM), which provided the command module of propulsion, electricity, oxygen and water, and a Lunar Module “Eagle” (LM).

The first lunar walk was broadcast live on television for a worldwide audience. In putting the first foot on the surface of the Moon Armstrong uttered the famous phrase:

One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind

The emblem

The emblem of the mission was devised by Collins, who wanted to symbolically represent a “peaceful landing of the United States” (it was the time of the Cold War between the USA and USSR ). He then represented a bald eagle, with an olive branch in its beak, which landed on a lunar landscape and with a view of the Earth in the distance. Some NASA officials believed the eagle’s claws looked too “warlike” and after some discussion, the olive branch was moved into the claws. The crew chose not to use the Roman “XI” number, but preferred to use the Arabic “11”, fearing that the first could not be understood in some countries. Moreover, they chose not to indicate their names on the emblem, so that it would be “representative of all those who had worked to allow the mission”. All colors are natural, with blue and golden yellow edges.


«Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.»

The NASA commission in charge of the choice of the landing site ( Apollo Site Selection Board ) announced, on February 8th 1968, that it had identified 5 potentials. These were the result of 2 years of studies based on high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface acquired from five unmanned probes of the Lunar Orbiter program and on the analysis of information, learned during the Surveyor program, concerning soil conditions.

In the end, the Apollo Site Selection Board selected site 2 in the Sea of Tranquility (Mare Tranquilitatis), with sites 3 (Sinus Medii) and 5 (Oceanus Procellarum) as a backup in case of delayed launch.

In May 1969, Apollo 10 flew less than 15 km from site 2 and reported that it was acceptable for the next landing.

The first walk

Preparations for the lunar walk began at 11:43 pm. Once Armstrong and Aldrin were ready to leave, the Eagle lunar module was depressurized. Some of the highest heart rates recorded by astronauts on the Apollo missions were detected during the exit from the LM. At 02:56:15 UTC , the first black and white images of a man on the Moon were seen live by at least 600 million people scattered throughout the world.
Six and a half hours after touching the ground, after a brief description of the surface ( “very fine grain … almost like dust ” ) and having uttered his historic phrase, Armstrong he took his first step out of the Eagle and became the first man to walk on another celestial body.

First step on the Moon

Lunar Conspiracy Theory

The lunar conspiracy theory ( also known as Moon Hoax in English, the Moon ) is the conspiracy hypothesis that the Apollo program missions would not have actually transported the astronauts to the moon, and the evidence of the landing would have been falsified by NASA, with the collaboration of the US government, in competition with the USSR for the “conquest of space” in the general scenario of the cold war. According to conspiracy theorists, the images of the landing would be shots taken in the studio with the help of special effects.

In 1999, a Gallup survey found that 6% of US citizens have doubts about landing.
The scientific consensus is that the Apollo missions were real and the man has unquestionably walked on the Moon, as demonstrated also by numerous independent tests.

Further contributing to the popularization of the theory was Capricorn One, a 1978 film directed by Peter Hyams. The plot deals, in a similar manner, with a mission to Mars.
In the film, NASA discovers that it is unable to leave for the mission; in order to prevent the funding for subsequent missions from being canceled, he decides to stage everything in a television studio.


Old Fashion and tribute

On the night of 20 July 2019 Old Fashion will pay tribute to the Apollo 11 mission with a Space-style animation.