50th Anniversary of the first Moon Landing

This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It was July 20, 1969, when Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin made cosmic history as they became the first humans ever to stand and walk on a heavenly body not called Earth.

Here is a look back at that amazing achievement……

Apollo 11 lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16 and returned to Earth on July 24, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean after traveling a total of 953,054 miles in eight days, three hours and 18 minutes.

On July 20, the astronauts touched down in the moon’s Sea of Tranquility. About four hours later, Captain Neil Armstrong stepped out, just before 11 p.m. on the 20th, which happened to be a Sunday. Armstrong was outside for about two and a half hours, with Buzz Aldrin joining him for about an hour and a half. They were on the moon for a total of 21 hours, 36 minutes before returning to orbit to rejoin the third member of the crew, Michael Collins, who’d been watching and waiting.

The pair never ventured more than 300 feet from the lunar module and worked under a 200-degree sun, Armstrong and Aldrin like tourists everywhere took lots of photos and video, as well as gathered as many souvenirs in the form of moon rocks and soil samples as they could. They even took the time to  set up a couple of rudimentary experiments, including one to measure seismic activity and another as a target for Earth-based lasers to measure the Earth to moon distance which was able to return data for a period of 71 days. They left behind an American flag, some of the most famous footprints in history, a coin-size silicon disc etched in microscopic detail with messages from world leaders and a small plaque that read, “We came in peace for all mankind.”