Case Study 3: The First Moon Landing, 1969

Leaving Cert > The United States and the WorldCase Study 3: The First Moon Landing, 1969
"That's one small step for man... one giant leap for mankind."
Although the Soviet Union was the first to put a man in space, the US decisively won the Space Race of the 1960s when they landed men on the moon in July 1969. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (no, not that one) landed on the Moon in Apollo 11. How did they do it? What did the world think? Learn about that in this case study.

  • Apollo 11
    • Why did the US begin the Apollo programme? What was its aim?
    • What was the purpose of the first Apollo missions (especially Apollo 8, 9 and 10)?
    • How was Apollo 11 designed?
    • Who were the three astronauts who would travel on Apollo 11? How were they trained?
  • The Mission
    • How was the launch covered by the media?
    • What were the three rocket stages?
    • What were conditions aboard Columbia like?
  • Landing on the Moon
    • Describe the moon landing.
    • What equipment did the astronauts have?
    • What did they do while on the moon's surface? Why?
  • Returning to Earth
    • What did the command module face on the way back? Where did it land? What was the response they received?
  • Results of the Moon Landing: What were they?
The plaque that Armstrong and Aldrin left on the Moon. It's still there, along with their footprints.


Higher Level (100 marks each)
2016: What was the significance of the moon landing (1969) and/or Star Wars?

2014: How did the Americans achieve a successful moon landing in 1969 and what was its importance for the US?
2011: Why did the US lose the Vietnam War and/or what was the significance of the Moon landing?

2010: What was the impact of the Moon landing on US domestic and foreign affairs?

2006: What was the importance of one or more of the following: McCarthyism; the Moon Landing, 1969; developments in information technology?

Ordinary Level
2014, The United States and the World, Part C
2010, The United States and the World, Part C:
How did the US achieve a moon landing in 1969 and what was its importance? (40)

2011, The United States and the World, Part C
2007, The United States and the World, Part C:
How was it possible for the US to achieve a Moon landing? (40)

2015, The United States and the World, Part B
2006, The United States and the World, Part B:
Write a short paragraph on the Moon landing, 1969. (30)
The Apollo 11 astronauts at an event to honour them with President Richard Nixon.

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