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!