Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Spaceflight and Man's First Moon Walk

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.”

83 Stat. 951 - National Day of Participation, Proclamation 3919
By the President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, July 16, 1969”

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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


Related Legislation

51 U.S.C. - NATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL SPACE PROGRAMS
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Budget FY 2018 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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107 Cong. Rec. (Bound) - House of Representatives: May 25, 1961
President Kennedy’s Special Message to Congress on Urgent National Needs, including support for the nation’s space program
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85 Stat. 919 - National Moon Walk Day
Proclamation 4067 - To Commemorate the Anniversary of the First Moon Walk
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123 Stat. 1966 - New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act
An Act to award gold medals on behalf of the United States Congress to the crew of the Apollo 11
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146 Cong. Rec. 11502 - Congressional Gold Medal to Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins
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152 Cong. Rec. 6248 - Honoring Neil Armstrong as He Receives the NASA Ambassador of Exploration Award
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Resources