Can You Get More Than 11 Right on This Moon Landing Quiz?



By: Elizabeth Lavis

6 Min Quiz

Image: Photographed by Photost0ry/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The moon landing is among the most celebrated events in American history; it was the thrilling end to a Cold War-era space race and a testament to grit, endurance and the desire to find out what was in the furthest reaches of our galaxy. The three astronauts aboard Apollo 11 were heralded as heroes when they returned home, but it took incredible guts to get them up there in the first place. Back in the 1960s, the moon was truly an unknown entity and nobody knew what they'd find on her potentially hostile terrain or possibly poisonous atmosphere!

The space race defined the latter part of the twentieth century and ushered in a new era of bright-eyed kids dreaming of being the next one selected by NASA to venture up to the stars and explore worlds beyond our own. Everybody knows all of the major events of that fateful day, but how well do you really know the space mission that put the United States on the map as an intergalactic superpower? It's time to prove that your moon landing knowledge is more than just surface-deep with this quiz that 99 percent of people are guaranteed to fail. Will you prevail? 

Neil Armstrong contacted Houston when the lunar module had landed. What did he say?

Neil Armstrong assured the command office in Houston that they had arrived on the surface of the moon safely by assuring them that the "eagle has landed." The eagle, of course, was code for the craft.


He pushed for the moon landing but tragically wasn't around to see it happen. What U.S. president spurned on the space race?

John F. Kennedy was the optimistic United States president that pushed the Americans on in the space race. Tragically, he was gunned down on November 22, 1963, which meant he never saw Apollo 11 land on the moon.


True or false: The astronauts were allowed to immediately go home with their families after they returned from the moon?

The astronauts aboard Apollo 11 were quarantined for nearly a month after they returned from their moon mission. It totally makes sense, as they could have contracted anything from their space adventure!


What brainiac led the team that wrote the code for the Apollo Guidance Computer?

Margaret Hamilton broke the ultimate glass ceiling in a time when women had very few options in engineering, let alone space travel. She and her team were instrumental in getting Apollo 11 space-borne.


Apollo 11 astronauts left medallions with the names of the Apollo 1 astronauts on the moon. Why?

The Apollo 1 fire is one of the most devastating accidents of the space age. Three moon-bound astronauts were killed when a faulty wire turned their capsule into a deathtrap.


Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong get all of the credit, but there was a third astronaut on Apollo 11. Who was he?

Michael Collins had the less-glamorous job of piloting Apollo 11 around the moon while Buzz and Neil wandered the surface collecting moon rocks. He was terrified that he'd have to leave them there.


True or false: The lunar module of Apollo 11 landed exactly where it was supposed to?

The lunar module was originally supposed to land in a boulder-filled crater, but Neil Armstrong intelligently moved their landing spot to somewhere flatter and arguably much safer.


It was very, very, important for Buzz and Neil to remember not to do this to avoid being trapped outside the lunar module? What was it?

The lunar module did not have a latch on the outside, so if either Buzz or Neil would have shut the door all the way, they would have been locked out and unable to return to Earth.


Buzz Aldrin's mother's maiden name foretold of his future career. True or false?

Buzz Aldrin's mother's maiden name was Marion Moon, a fact that he kept from NASA when applying to be an astronaut. He later said that he didn't want it to unfairly influence them to take him.


He was the first man in space, and Neil and Buzz honored him by leaving a cosmonaut medal on the surface of the moon. Who was he?

Yuri Gagarin was the first person in space, scoring a major win for the Russians whose cosmonauts were constantly racing with American astronauts for victories far from the surface of the Earth.


How many people worldwide watched the moon landing?

The moon landing drew a huge crowd of viewers from around the world, making it one of the most important televised events of all time. 600 million people tuned in to watch history be made.


Is the American flag planted on the moon still standing?

Although planting the flag was an amazing moment in the space race, the American flag on the moon toppled over almost immediately when the lunar module took off with Buzz and Neil.


Neil Armstrong's famous quote, "that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," is incorrect. What did he actually say?

Neil Armstrong has long claimed that he was misquoted while stepping off the lunar module. We suppose he would know! Apparently, his famous words referred to "a man" as opposed to "man."


Buzz Aldrin used a pen to fix a broken switch so they could blast off into lunar orbit? True or false?

Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong almost didn't make it off the surface of the moon and into the history books, but thanks to some quick thinking by Buzz, who used a felt-tip pen as a makeshift switch, they were able to come home.


Which historical relic was aboard the Apollo 11?

The Wright brothers first took Americans successfully to the skies with their prototype aircraft. It was only fitting that pieces of their original machine were aboard the Apollo 11.


True or false: There will never be a computer as powerful as that which launched Apollo 11?

Although the computer that launched Apollo 11 was cutting edge at the time, it would be eclipsed by even the most rudimentary smartphone today. That's right; you have more tech at your fingertips than NASA had in 1969.


What did the astronauts do as a way to provide for their families in case they didn't come home from the moon?

The crew of Apollo 11 signed thousands of "life insurance autographs" for their families to sell in case they didn't return from their mission to the moon. Today, these autographs are worth a mint.


We know it as the "Sea of Tranquility," but what's the actual name of the place the lunar module landed?

Mare Tranquillitatis is the Latin name for what we know as the Sea of Tranquility and considered to be the official name for the spot where the lunar module of Apollo 11 landed on the moon.


What recent space anniversary did we just celebrate?

On July 20, 2019, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. There were parties all throughout the country, rebroadcasts of the original moon landing footage and Tang toasts.


This was the first food eaten on the moon. What was it?

Buzz Aldrin famously ingested a small communion wafer on the moon, making it the first food to be consumed there. He also allegedly washed down the wafer with a sip of communion wine.


This monarch was recorded and left on the moon. Whose voice made it into outer space?

Queen Elizabeth II's moon message included a congratulations on behalf of the British people, as well as an acknowledgment that traveling to the moon was the achievement of the age.


True or false: In 2001, Buzz Aldrin punched a moon-landing denier in the face?

Buzz Aldrin is not one to shy away from conflict as his scuffle with moon-landing denier Bart Sibrel proved. Sibrel wanted Buzz to swear on the Bible that he landed on the moon and called him a coward. Buzz slugged him.


How old were the rocks brought back by the Apollo 11 crew?

Part of Buzz and Neil's moon mission included picking up some space rocks for analysis back on Earth. The rocks that they found were a remarkable 3.7 billion years old. So incredible!


Buzz Aldrin was the first man to pee on the moon. True or false?

Neil Armstrong might have been the first person to step foot on the moon, but Buzz Aldrin was the first person to pee on the moon. He reportedly peed his spacesuit after remarking how "lonely" the moon was.


Space travel doesn't come cheap! How much did the Apollo 11 mission cost?

Apollo 11's mission cost $25.4 billion, which was a heavy price tag for the time and way over the projected budget. Adjusted for inflation, the mission would cost $140 billion today.


Neil Armstrong made a very serious promise before he took flight. What did he tell his grandmother?

Like many people at the time, Neil Armstrong's grandmother was very incredulous about what the surface of the moon was like. She made Neil not to step on it if it seemed dangerous. He agreed.


According to the astronauts, does the moon have a smell?

Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong both reported that the moon had a very strong scent, but they disagreed on what it was. Buzz said that it was wet ashes; Neil said that it was gunpowder.


Any astronaut will tell you that their spacesuit is critical. What unlikely manufacturer made the ones for Apollo 11?

International Latex Corporation, the parent company of Playtex won the contract to make spacesuits for the astronauts aboard Apollo 11. They were chosen because they were experts in fit.


True or false: The moon's soft surface made planting the American flag easy?

Planting the American flag on the surface of the moon was very difficult because it's not soft. The moon is made of very dense, hard rock and a thick crust, so it was no easy feat!


Richard Nixon prepared this in case the astronauts didn't come how. What was it?

Richard Nixon had two speeches prepared for the moon landing. One, which he delivered, was for if the landing was a success. The other, labeled "In the Event of Moon Disaster," was for it it was not.


Astronauts are just like you and me! What common office document did Buzz Aldrin have to fill out as part of the moon landing?

Buzz Aldrin famously opted to fill out an expense report to justify his travel to and from the launch site. He was paid $33.31, which would be roughly about $200, adjusted for inflation.


It's one of the objects we left. Why did Buzz and Neil leave a mirror on the moon?

The astronauts left a mirror on the moon so that scientists could shoot lasers at it and measure how far away it was. The project never really took off and was eventually abandoned.


The astronauts needed to fill out customs forms upon return to the Earth. True or false?

The astronauts on Apollo 11 actually had to fill out customs forms when they landed back on Earth, and they had to claim the moon rocks that they collected. No word on if they were charged a customs fee.


How long did Buzz and Neil actually spend on the surface of the moon?

Buzz and Neil spent nearly a day on the surface of the moon. They were there for an incredible twenty-one hours and thirty-six minutes conducting experiments and collecting samples.


Did the astronauts on Apollo 11 float around in their sleep?

The astronauts of Apollo 11 slept in sleeping bags that were secured down with restraints so they wouldn't float around. Their sleeping area was only slightly bigger than a large car.


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