This lesson uses a book called Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon to help you understand challenges faced by the planners, designers, builders, etc. of the Apollo 11 mission team. The book, along with the resources on this esheet, will introduce you to the range of careers that involve science and technology.
A good way to get a feel for what a space mission is like, and the types of problems encountered by the scientists, engineers, and astronauts involved in the mission, would be to watch some clips from the Apollo 13 movie. To do this, go to Apollo 13: Mission and Movie, a 30-minute talk with Tom Hanks, Gene Krantz, and Jim Lovell and a few short film clips.
If your teacher asks, you could also go to Soviet Race to the Moon to put the Apollo project into a historical context.
Finally, to get a sense of the very real danger of the Apollo missions, you could visit one of these three sites:
Listen to the podcast interview with Team Moon author Catherine Thimmesh and think about answers these questions. You will discuss them in class.
- What did the author want to achieve with her book?
- How did she organize the book?
- What were some challenges the author faced?
- How did she research the book?
- What understanding does she want her audience to come to after reading Team Moon?
Next, read Team Moon by Catherine Thimmesh and answer the questions found on the Team Moon student sheet.
With your group, you should research one of the behind-the-scenes members of the Apollo 11 mission. The websites below can be consulted for research. Fill out the Apollo 11 student sheet using your research and present your findings to the class.
Johnson Space Center Oral History Project (choose one from the following list):
- Neil Armstrong
- Dr. Charles A. Berry (aerospace medicine)
- Michael Collins
- Max Faget
- Jay Honeycutt (simulator supervisor)
- Thomas Kelly (Grumman lunar module)
- John Kiker (parachutes)
- Joe Schmitt (lead suit technician)
- John Stonesifer (recovery operations)
- Guenter Wendt (pad leader)
Other Websites referenced in Team Moon:
- Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Mission
- Encyclopedia Astronautica
- CSM Parachute
- Reliability and Training
- The Lunar Module Computer
- Project Apollo
- The First Lunar Landing
- To the Moon: Interview with Max Faget
- On Eagle’s Wings: The Parkes Observatory’s Support of the Apollo 11 Mission
- The Dish
- Flag raising
- Operational constraints on landing sites
- Complexities of Quarantine
Other helpful websites:
- One Giant Leap for Mankind: The 35 Anniversary of Apollo 11
- Top Ten Scientific Discoveries Made During Apollo Exploration of the Moon
This esheet is a part of the Team Moon lesson.