Edwin (“Buzz”) Aldrin, Jr., the lunar module’s pilot, and commander Neil Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969, during the Apollo 11 mission, the first humans to set foot on the moon. The Apollo program’s conclusion, Apollo 11, represented a significant national commitment by the United States to surpass the Soviet Union in sending astronauts to the Moon.
Nearly every significant phase of Apollo 11’s flight was shown live on television to hundreds of millions of viewers across the world from the time of its launch on July 16, 1969, until the mission’s return splashdown on July 24.
The 111-meter (363-foot) high, 3,038,500-kg (6,698,700-pound), Saturn V launch vehicle raised the pulse of mankind as it took off flawlessly from Pad 39A at Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral), Florida, in front of a large crowd. The translunar insertion was so precise that just two out of the three anticipated en-route trajectory changes were required.
Armstrong, Aldrin, and command module pilot Michael Collins were all aboard Apollo 11. From the start, it was clear they were excited as Armstrong said, “This Saturn gave us a beautiful ride… It was gorgeous!
The Moon Landing
The iconic occasion enthralled the globe and inspired people to look to the future.
Millions of people gathered in front of their TVs on July 20, 1969, to see two American astronauts accomplish a feat that had never been done before. Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin were the first humans to set foot on the moon, walking there while donning cumbersome space suits and oxygen-filled backpacks.
Armstrong famously said, “That’s one little stride for a man, one huge leap for mankind,” after the two had set foot on the moon.
Only when several other firsts in space were accomplished were humans allowed to take that little stride. Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, was launched into space by Russia in 1957. Following then, additional American satellites were launched. Both nations wanted to launch a person into space first.
The first space traveler arrived on April 12, 1961, and was Yuri Gagarin of Russia. Alan Shepard, a citizen of the United States, became the first American in space less than a month later. President John F. Kennedy challenged the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to land a person on the moon in 10 years or fewer after these achievements.
NASA started its work. The Apollo 11 spacecraft was getting ready to send a crew of three men into orbit on July 16, 1969. and the historical records.
Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong were the astronauts chosen by NASA to fly the historic Apollo 11 mission from Earth. The spacecraft came within four days of its Florida-based Kennedy Space Center launch of the moon.
The three men broke off as they approached the landing. Collins entered the Columbia, the command module from Apollo 11, where he would spend the rest of the mission in lunar orbit. As soon as Armstrong and Aldrin entered the Eagle lunar module of Apollo 11, they started their descent to the moon’s surface.
The Eagle made a perilous landing in the Sea of Tranquility, a small lunar crater.
(Most viewers of the landing on television were unaware that the Eagle had only 20 seconds of landing fuel left at this moment.) Out the module’s windows, Armstrong and Aldrin observed the dead, desolate lunar surface.
The two within the Eagle got ready to leave the module after six and a half hours had passed. Armstrong was the first to set foot on the moon since he was the mission commander.
Aldrin joined his buddy and down the ladder twenty minutes later. The two placed the American flag on the ground after reading a plaque that stated that they “came in peace for all mankind.” President Richard Nixon contacted the astronauts to offer his congratulations.
Armstrong and Aldrin resumed their mission of gathering lunar rock and dust samples. The astronauts prepared to rejoin Collins after spending more than two hours bringing 47 pounds back aboard the lunar module. The time to head home had come.
DOWN TO EARTH
On July 24, 1969, the Apollo 11 crew made their way back to Earth. Ten astronauts would continue Armstrong and Aldrin’s legacy over the following several years. In 1972, the last lunar mission was conducted.
Though they haven’t been back to the moon since humanity has kept exploring the universe. Even better, they created the International Orbit Station (ISS), a research facility in space where they can carry out experiments and closely examine the universe.
NASA is now striving to send people to Mars, another planet. NASA has reason to be optimistic about its possibilities because of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The successful landing of three astronauts on the moon and their return to Earth without incident demonstrated the viability of human space travel.