Apollo 11’s astronauts found water on the moon – but there was no mystery about its origin. It came from Orlando.
All of the water the Apollo 11 astronauts carried to the lunar surface on their historic 1969 moon landing originated in Orlando.
To be precise, 160 gallons of water from Orlando.
“Every drop will come from Orlando, via Cocoa, via Kennedy Space Center, via Apollo 11,” reported the Orlando Sentinel in a story published July 16, 1969 – the day Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins launched on their moon mission from Central Florida.
Al Buck was in charge of the astronauts’ water for the Apollo 11 mission. His official title in 1969 was “Project Engineer, Environmental Health for Apollo Water.”
“Buck and his crew start with plain tap water, which originates in Orlando deep wells and is piped to Brevard County and the spaceport,” the Sentinel story said.
“The only difference between it and the water Orange and Brevard County housewives get when they turn on their kitchens’ faucets is that the water aboard Apollo 11 will be filtered and debacterialized.”
(A quick aside — despite what the Sentinel story reports, we are fairly certain other members of households used kitchen faucets in 1969, not just “housewives.” Now, back to our space story … )
Buck explained that any particles or bacteria were removed before the water was placed aboard the Apollo 11 spacecrafts. “We make it super pure,” he said.
Buck added that it still “tastes like” household tap water. “It’s not even flat,” the story said.
In addition to the 160 gallons of water sent to the surface of moon for Armstrong and Aldrin to drink and use, there were also 50 gallons aboard the command module for Collins.
“And they also prepare every other drop of water the crewmen require, from their backpacks to their suits’ cooling systems,” the story said.
In August 2018, scientists confirmed the existence of water on the moon. But that was in ice form and more than likely not from Orlando.