Featured Content July 14, 2017 – Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, and on July 20, the lunar module Eagle landed for man’s first moon walk
Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. The mission was to land two men on the lunar surface and return them safely to Earth, as part of a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy on May 25,1961.
An estimated half a billion people watched Armstrong describe the event as he took "...one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
“Apollo 11 is on its way to the moon. It carries three brave astronauts; it also carries the hopes and prayers of hundreds of millions of people here on earth, for whom that first footfall on the moon will be a moment of transcendent drama. Never before has man embarked on so epic an adventure. In the words of the plaque the Apollo astronauts expect to leave on the moon, they go "in peace for all mankind." The adventure is not theirs alone, but everyone's; the history they are making is not only scientific history, but human history. That moment when man first sets foot on a body other than earth will stand through the centuries as one supreme in human experience, and profound in its meaning for generations to come.”
Apollo 11 Mission Highlights:
- First men on the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin
- Photographs from the Moon's surface, including the lunar horizon, surrounding area, and landing site
- First samples from another planetary body
- Deployment of several tools and scientific experiments, including a Laser-Ranging Retroreflector (LRRR), a Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP), and a Solar Wind Composition (SWC) experiment
- Plaque affixed to the leg of the lunar landing vehicle signed by President Nixon, Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. The plaque bears a map of the Earth and this inscription:
HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH
FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON
JULY 1969 A.D.
WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND
- Listen to President John F. Kennedy’s “Special Message to Congress on Urgent National Needs,” May 25, 1961 on the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum's website.
- Explore NASA’s website for history, audio highlights, and videos related to the Apollo 11 spaceflight.
- View Nasa’s footage from the Apollo moonwalk that was partially restored in 2009.
- Learn more about NASA’s future space exploration including launch of the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the “Journey to Mars” planned to take place in the 2030s.
- Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's website
- Visit the U.S. Government Publishing Office Bookstore’s website to purchase NASA publications.