- On 20 July, 1969, the first manned mission to land on the moon took place
- A proudly South African invention was on board the historic Apollo 11 Eagle landing craft
- The man behind the invention, which is known as Pratley Putty, is George Pratley
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On 20 July, 1969, history was made when the first manned aircraft landed on the moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin formed the American crew that landed Apollo 11 on the moon.
However, not many people know South Africa played a small part in the historic moment. NASA used Pratley Putty on the spacecraft and till date it is the only South African product ever to go to the moon.
Pratley Putty is a strong epoxy adhesive putty and was invented by George Pratley in 1960 with the help of chemist Frank Robinson.
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The SA entrepreneur founded Pratley research group (PTY). Pratley died in 1983 and his company is now run by his son, Kim.
According to Wikipedia, the mission allowed Neil Armstrong to become first person to step onto the lunar surface on July 21, six hours and 39 minutes after landing on the moon.
In other news, Briefly.co.za previously reported Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched two people into orbit. One of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets lifted off last month to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
The rocket lifted off at 21:22 SA time and about 12 minutes later, a relatively small payload separated from the 23-story launcher, slipping the spacecraft into low-Earth orbit, Business Insider reported.
The privately developed commercial spaceship - which is called Crew Dragon - carried NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
Taking to Twitter, NASA tweeted about the historic moment, adding it is the first time in human history that their astronauts have entered the International Space Station from a commercially-made spacecraft.
Musk opened up about the historic moment, saying:
"This is a dream come true for me and everyone else at SpaceX. I didn't even dream that this would come true."
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