Apollo 11 pictures make great wallpapers [Wallpaper Wednesday]

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Apollo 11 wallpaper
Who wouldn't want this as their wallpaper?
Photo: NASA

Apollo 11 is probably best known for being the first manned mission to successfully land on the surface of the moon. But a little over 50 years later, it should now be known as a seemingness endless source of great wallpaper pictures.

The iconic launch that gave mankind its first collection of moon rocks, invaluable data on tidal currents, and a renewed source of scientific belief that led to hallmark environmental reforms, also makes neat wallpapers for both iPhones and iMacs.

To the moon! iPhone vs. Apollo Guidance Computer [Cult of Mac Magazine No. 306]

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A single iPhone dwarfs the Apollo Guidance Computer's processing power.
A single iPhone dwarfs the Apollo Guidance Computer's processing power.
Photo: NASA. Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Fifty years after the Apollo moon mission, the leaps in mankind’s computing power continue to amaze. For instance, did you know an iPhone could manage 120 million moon missions at once?

Get the story behind that astonishing stat, plus the latest on CarPlay, FaceApp and the likely design of this year’s new iPhones, in this week’s issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. It’s jam-packed with all the Apple news, reviews and how-tos you can fit into your weekend. (Prefer to read in your browser? Get the headlines below.)

Your iPhone could handle 120 million moon missions at once

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Apollo 11 lunar module
It was no iPhone, but the Apollo guidance computer got the job done.
Photo: NASA/Wikimedia CC

My father worked on an engineering team that designed the housing that held the components for the guidance computer onboard Apollo 11.

Just this morning, I read an article looking back on the 50 years since man first landed on the moon. I read the story on my iPhone, which delivers 100,000 times the processing power of the computer that got Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the lunar surface.

You can take one small step to save Neil Armstrong’s moon suit

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Neil Armstrong's suit needs a little preservation work before it can be displayed in 2019 for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Neil Armstrong's suit needs a little preservation work before it can be displayed in 2019 for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Photo: Mark Avino/Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

What are the artifacts that define America’s greatest moments? Two are the original Declaration of Independence and the Star-Spangled Banner that inspired the Francis Scott Key song.

If you see those in the top three, the third might be the suit Neil Armstrong wore when he stepped onto the moon’s surface.

While the suit was constructed to make it to the moon and back, it was not built to last forever. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is raising money for a major restoration project to get the Armstrong suit ready for public display on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 2019.

Neil Armstrong’s ‘bunch of trash’ is space history treasure

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A bag of forgotten moon mission artifacts was found in a closet in Neil Armstrong's home. Carol Armstrong photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
A bag of forgotten moon mission artifacts was found in a closet in Neil Armstrong's home. Carol Armstrong photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Neil Armstrong had just been the first man to walk on the moon but now had to put out the trash.

It was a critical step home. Precise weight had to be calculated for re-entry and to make way for moon rocks, miscellaneous space travel items had to be discarded in the lunar module.

Just before sending the Eagle crashing into the surface of the moon, Mission Control records Armstrong’s voice saying nothing historic, certainly not as memorable as “One Small Step for Man…”

“You know, that – that one’s just a bunch of trash that we want to take back . . . We’ll have to figure something out for it.”

This audio proved to be an important piece of provenance when the wife of the late astronaut discovered a white bag in a home closet.