Landing humans on the Moon required the most sudden burst of technological creativity and the largest commitment of resources ever made by any nation in peacetime. At its peak, the Apollo program employed 400,000 people and required the support of over 20,000 industrial firms and universities.
During his trip to the Moon, Apollo 16 astronaut Ken Mattingly lost his wedding ring. According to his fellow astronaut, it ‘just floated off somewhere’ and he spent all his spare time on the mission trying to find it.
Neil Armstrong’s barber sold Armstrong’s hair for $3k without his consent. Armstrong threatened to sue the barber unless he either returned the hair or or donated the proceeds to charity. Unable to retrieve the hair, the barber donated the $3k to a charity of Armstrong’s choosing.
When Pete Conrad, the third man in history to go on the moon, his first words when he landed were “Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me”.
Even though Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of electronic television, was disappointed by it for most of his life, he changed his mind the day he saw Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon thanks to his invention, telling his wife “this has made it all worthwhile”.
On a trip to Nepal, Apollo astronaut Stu Roosa met Nepalese who believe the spirits of their dead reside on the Moon. Roosa could not understand why a few of the local citizens treated him like a god, nor why they were distressed when he told them he saw no one else on the Moon.
It is unknown what Neil Armstrong took with him to the moon personally and the record of his personal property kit was never found. Armstrong made an unscripted visit to a crater and it is speculated he left his late daughter’s bracelet there.
BBC delayed the release of David Bowie’s song Space Oddity due to the Moon Landing.
When America’s first rocket scientist, Robert Goddard, theorized that rockets could reach the moon, the New York Times harshly criticized him and wrote that he “lacked the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.” 49 years later, Apollo 11 succeeded and the NYT published a retraction.
After retiring from NASA, Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon, fell into a deep depression and ended up working as a used car salesman.