It was on today’s date in 1969 the iconic words, “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were uttered by Neil Armstrong on the surface of the Moon.
By Jonathan Stroud
July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon. Armstrong was the first to set foot on the surface, followed by Aldrin shortly after. The three-manned Apollo 11 crew included Michael Collins, who piloted the Command Module while the two men spent just under a day on the lunar surface.
Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program with the primary objective to complete a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy. In his 1961 speech to Congress the President challenged NASA to successfully perform a lunar landing and return to Earth.
“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” -John F. Kennedy
The Apollo 11 mission took many days and hours to get to the Moon; but the Apollo astronauts only spent approximately 21.5 hours on the surface of the moon. The crew returned to Earth landing in the Pacific Ocean on July 24. The events of the Apollo 11 were broadcasted on live TV to a worldwide audience and the cultural impacts can still be seen today.
Here are a few memorable pictures from the mission:
You can see more pictures from the Apollo 11 mission on the Official NASA Apollo 11 Image Gallery Website.
Learn more about Apollo 11 from the Official NASA Mission Overview
*Feature photo and all photo credit to: NASA
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