Man was able to walk on the Moon thanks to great technological innovations. In the 20th century, there were 2 world wars, and scientists invented new weapons that could be launched: missiles! In the 50s, space researchers used this invention to build unmanned space probes that they sent to the Moon.
But why go to the Moon ?
Because humans have always dreamt of going there and have been fascinated by the Earth’s natural satellite for thousands of years. And for some countries, it was a way of proving their technological superiority. In the 50s and 60s, the United States and Russia were adversaries: it was the Cold War. Both countries started the so-called “space race” to be the first to reach the Moon. In 1959, the Russians sent several space probes there. On 30 May 1966, the American probe Surveyor 1 landed on the Moon. And on 21 July 1969, the American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon!
Today, the 2 countries are helping each other to reach a new space objective: the planet Mars! For other countries however, the Moon is still a challenge. India, China and Japan have recently sent spacecraft there to prove their technological power. So, going to the Moon is a way for countries to prove that they are important… on Earth!