In honour of Apollo 11 and the first lunar landing, which took place 50 years ago this week, Google has released one of its best search doodles to date.
To view the doodle, which includes a video detailing the Apollo 11 mission, visit Google.com.
The video accompanying the doodle, which is best viewed on a smartphone due to its portrait orientation, is narrated by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins. Of the three astronauts who took part in Apollo 11, Collins is often forgotten next to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
While Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the surface of the moon, Collins was in orbit piloting the Columbia command module. Between Collins’ thoughtful narration and the slick animation that brings the doodle to life, it’s well worth watching the almost five-minute-long video.
In it, Collins shares interesting tidbits about the technology NASA employed to get him, Armstrong and Aldrin to the Moon. “We thought our onboard computer was very sophisticated,” he says at one point. “But, in fact, it had less computing power than what we all carry around in our pockets today.”
“The first time we saw the moon up close, it was a magnificent spectacle. It was huge. The sun was coming around it, cascading and making a golden halo that filled our entire window,” says the astronaut. “As impressive as the view was of this alien moon seen up close, it was nothing compared to the sight of the tiny earth. The Earth was the main show. The Earth was it.”
Google also shared a behind-the-scenes blog post that includes storyboards and sketches.
Neil Armstrong first set foot on the Moon on July 21st, 1969. His first words upon walking on the lunar surface, “This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” have echoed ever since.