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Space Travel and Exploration
The Moon

Why did the Apollo 11 land on Mare Tranquillitatis?

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January 12, 2008 6:55AM

The landing site was chosen for a complex variety of reasons including its position on the moon in order to minimize the distance traveled to conserve fuel, and the angle of the sun at the landing time. Also, the need to get the astronauts back to earth at the safest time of day for splashdown was taken into account. Also, the area had to be reasonably flat for landing. In the approach to the surface, the computer was found to be heading the lunar module toward a landing on a crater, and Armstrong took over the controls and was able to land the Eagle in a more suitable part of Tranquility.