By the time we published this article, the U.S. government was intent on ensuring that we reached the moon first; after all, the Soviet Union had already caught us off guard when it launched Sputnik in 1957. In order to get there, however, we had to overcome a series of engineering challenges. First and foremost was the design of our craft. It not only needed enough power to reach the moon, but it would have to provide artificial gravity for our astronauts. Next was the duration of the trip. Would we go the direct ascent route or refuel at a space station? Other problems outlined in our top ten list dealt with building the launch pad, choosing a safe landing target, and re-entering the Earth's atmosphere on the way back. In retrospect, it's pretty impressive how NASA managed to figure these questions out in just seven years.
Read the full story in "Ten Toughest Problems of Putting a Man on the Moon"