Apollo 11
Overview
 
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council
National Space Council
The National Space Council was a body within the Executive Office of the President of the United States, which existed from 1989 to 1993 during the administration of George H.W. Bush...

 effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was delayed past its intended July launch (at which point Anders would be unavailable if needed) and would later join Lovell's crew and ultimately be assigned as the original Apollo 13
Apollo 13
Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST. The landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command...

 CMP.
  • Charlie Duke
    Charles Moss Duke, Jr.
    Charles Moss Duke, Jr. is a retired US Air Force brigadier general, and a former United States astronaut and aerospace engineer for NASA...

    , Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM)
  • Ronald Evans
    Ronald Evans
    Ronald Ellwin Evans, Jr. was a NASA astronaut and one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon. He also served as a captain in the United States Navy....

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Owen K. Garriott
    Owen K. Garriott
    Owen Kay Garriott, Ph.D. is a former NASA astronaut who spent 60 days aboard Skylab in 1973 and 10 days aboard Spacelab-1 in 1983. He is also the father of Robert Garriott and fellow spacefarer Richard Garriott, with whom he helped found Origin Systems.-Education and background:Garriott was born...

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Don L. Lind
    Don L. Lind
    Don Leslie Lind is an American scientist and a former NASA astronaut.-Education:Lind attended Midvale Elementary School and graduated from Jordan High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors in physics from the University of Utah in 1953...

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Ken Mattingly
    Ken Mattingly
    Thomas Kenneth "Ken" Mattingly II, is a retired American astronaut and rear admiral in the United States Navy who flew on the Apollo 16, STS-4 and STS-51-C missions. He had been scheduled to fly on Apollo 13, but was held back due to concerns about a potential illness...

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Bruce McCandless II
    Bruce McCandless II
    Bruce McCandless II is a former naval aviator with the United States Navy and former NASA astronaut. During the first of his two Space Shuttle missions he made the first ever untethered free flight, using the Manned Maneuvering Unit.-Education:McCandless is the son of Bruce McCandless, a decorated...

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Harrison Schmitt
    Harrison Schmitt
    Harrison Hagan "Jack" Schmitt is an American geologist, a retired NASA astronaut, university professor, and a former U.S. senator from New Mexico....

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Bill Pogue
  • Jack Swigert
    Jack Swigert
    He later became staff director of the Committee on Science and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives.Swigert was elected as a Republican to Colorado's newly created 6th congressional district in November 1982. He defeated Democrat Steve Hogan, 98,909 votes to 56,518...


  • Cliff Charlesworth (Green Team), launch and EVA
    Extra-vehicular activity
    Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

  • Gene Kranz
    Gene Kranz
    Kranz's book, titled Failure Is Not an Option, published five years after the movie, stated, "...a creed that we all lived by: "Failure is not an option."" . The book has three index references for the phrase, but none of those give any indication of the phrase being apocryphal...

     (White Team), lunar landing
  • Glynn Lunney
    Glynn Lunney
    Glynn S. Lunney is a retired NASA engineer. An employee of NASA since its foundation in 1958, Lunney was a flight director during the Gemini and Apollo programs, and was on duty during historic events such as the Apollo 11 lunar ascent and the pivotal hours of the Apollo 13 crisis...

     (Black Team), lunar ascent

After the crew of Apollo 10
Apollo 10
Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the American Apollo space program. It was an F type mission—its purpose was to be a "dry run" for the Apollo 11 mission, testing all of the procedures and components of a Moon landing without actually landing on the Moon itself. The mission included the...

 named their spacecraft Charlie Brown and Snoopy, assistant manager for public affairs Julian Scheer wrote Manned Spacecraft Center director George M.
Encyclopedia
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council
National Space Council
The National Space Council was a body within the Executive Office of the President of the United States, which existed from 1989 to 1993 during the administration of George H.W. Bush...

 effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was delayed past its intended July launch (at which point Anders would be unavailable if needed) and would later join Lovell's crew and ultimately be assigned as the original Apollo 13
Apollo 13
Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST. The landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command...

 CMP.

Support crew

  • Charlie Duke
    Charles Moss Duke, Jr.
    Charles Moss Duke, Jr. is a retired US Air Force brigadier general, and a former United States astronaut and aerospace engineer for NASA...

    , Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM)
  • Ronald Evans
    Ronald Evans
    Ronald Ellwin Evans, Jr. was a NASA astronaut and one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon. He also served as a captain in the United States Navy....

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Owen K. Garriott
    Owen K. Garriott
    Owen Kay Garriott, Ph.D. is a former NASA astronaut who spent 60 days aboard Skylab in 1973 and 10 days aboard Spacelab-1 in 1983. He is also the father of Robert Garriott and fellow spacefarer Richard Garriott, with whom he helped found Origin Systems.-Education and background:Garriott was born...

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Don L. Lind
    Don L. Lind
    Don Leslie Lind is an American scientist and a former NASA astronaut.-Education:Lind attended Midvale Elementary School and graduated from Jordan High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors in physics from the University of Utah in 1953...

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Ken Mattingly
    Ken Mattingly
    Thomas Kenneth "Ken" Mattingly II, is a retired American astronaut and rear admiral in the United States Navy who flew on the Apollo 16, STS-4 and STS-51-C missions. He had been scheduled to fly on Apollo 13, but was held back due to concerns about a potential illness...

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Bruce McCandless II
    Bruce McCandless II
    Bruce McCandless II is a former naval aviator with the United States Navy and former NASA astronaut. During the first of his two Space Shuttle missions he made the first ever untethered free flight, using the Manned Maneuvering Unit.-Education:McCandless is the son of Bruce McCandless, a decorated...

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Harrison Schmitt
    Harrison Schmitt
    Harrison Hagan "Jack" Schmitt is an American geologist, a retired NASA astronaut, university professor, and a former U.S. senator from New Mexico....

    , (CAPCOM)
  • Bill Pogue
  • Jack Swigert
    Jack Swigert
    He later became staff director of the Committee on Science and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives.Swigert was elected as a Republican to Colorado's newly created 6th congressional district in November 1982. He defeated Democrat Steve Hogan, 98,909 votes to 56,518...


Flight directors

  • Cliff Charlesworth (Green Team), launch and EVA
    Extra-vehicular activity
    Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

  • Gene Kranz
    Gene Kranz
    Kranz's book, titled Failure Is Not an Option, published five years after the movie, stated, "...a creed that we all lived by: "Failure is not an option."" . The book has three index references for the phrase, but none of those give any indication of the phrase being apocryphal...

     (White Team), lunar landing
  • Glynn Lunney
    Glynn Lunney
    Glynn S. Lunney is a retired NASA engineer. An employee of NASA since its foundation in 1958, Lunney was a flight director during the Gemini and Apollo programs, and was on duty during historic events such as the Apollo 11 lunar ascent and the pivotal hours of the Apollo 13 crisis...

     (Black Team), lunar ascent

Call signs

After the crew of Apollo 10
Apollo 10
Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the American Apollo space program. It was an F type mission—its purpose was to be a "dry run" for the Apollo 11 mission, testing all of the procedures and components of a Moon landing without actually landing on the Moon itself. The mission included the...

 named their spacecraft Charlie Brown and Snoopy, assistant manager for public affairs Julian Scheer wrote Manned Spacecraft Center director George M. Low to suggest the Apollo 11 crew be less flippant in naming their craft. During early mission planning, the names Snowcone and Haystack were used and put in the news release, but the crew later decided to change them.

The command module was named Columbia after the Columbiad, the giant cannon shell "spacecraft" (coincidentally "launched" from Florida) by a giant cannon in Jules Verne's
Jules Verne
Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , A Journey to the Center of the Earth , and Around the World in Eighty Days...

 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon
From the Earth to the Moon
From the Earth to the Moon is a humorous science fantasy novel by Jules Verne and is one of the earliest entries in that genre. It tells the story of the president of a post-American Civil War gun club in Baltimore, his rival, a Philadelphia maker of armor, and a Frenchman, who build an enormous...

. The name Columbia is also associated with the feminine personification of the United States used traditionally in song and poetry.

The lunar module
Apollo Lunar Module
The Apollo Lunar Module was the lander portion of the Apollo spacecraft built for the US Apollo program by Grumman to carry a crew of two from lunar orbit to the surface and back...

 was named Eagle for the national bird of the United States, the bald eagle
Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle...

, which is featured prominently on the mission insignia. Backup commander Jim Lovell recommended the name.

Launch and lunar orbit injection

In addition to throngs of people crowding highways and beaches near the launch site, millions watched the event on television, with NASA Chief of Public Information Jack King
Jack King (NASA)
John W. "Jack" King is a former Chief of Public Information and Public Affairs Officer for NASA. He is best known for his work as Kennedy Space Center Chief of Public Information during projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. As part of this role, he provided public announcements and commentary for...

 providing commentary. President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 viewed the proceedings from the Oval Office
Oval Office
The Oval Office, located in the West Wing of the White House, is the official office of the President of the United States.The room features three large south-facing windows behind the president's desk, and a fireplace at the north end...

 of the White House.

A Saturn V
Saturn V
The Saturn V was an American human-rated expendable rocket used by NASA's Apollo and Skylab programs from 1967 until 1973. A multistage liquid-fueled launch vehicle, NASA launched 13 Saturn Vs from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida with no loss of crew or payload...

 launched Apollo 11 from Launch Pad 39A, part of the Launch Complex 39 site at the Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
The John F. Kennedy Space Center is the NASA installation that has been the launch site for every United States human space flight since 1968. Although such flights are currently on hiatus, KSC continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for America's civilian space program...

 on July 16, 1969 at 13:32:00 UTC (9:32:00 a.m. local time). It entered orbit 12 minutes later. After one and a half orbits, the S-IVB
S-IVB
The S-IVB was built by the Douglas Aircraft Company and served as the third stage on the Saturn V and second stage on the Saturn IB. It had one J-2 engine...

 third-stage engine pushed the spacecraft onto its trajectory toward the Moon with the Trans Lunar Injection
Trans Lunar Injection
A Trans Lunar Injection is a propulsive maneuver used to set a spacecraft on a trajectory which will arrive at the Moon.Typical lunar transfer trajectories approximate Hohmann transfers, although low energy transfers have also been used in some cases, as with the Hiten probe...

 burn at 16:22:13 UTC. About 30 minutes later the command/service module
Apollo Command/Service Module
The Command/Service Module was one of two spacecraft, along with the Lunar Module, used for the United States Apollo program which landed astronauts on the Moon. It was built for NASA by North American Aviation...

 pair separated from this last remaining Saturn V stage and docked with the lunar module still nestled in the Lunar Module Adaptor. After the lunar module was extracted, the combined spacecraft headed for the Moon, while the third stage booster flew on a trajectory past the Moon and into solar orbit
Heliocentric orbit
A heliocentric orbit is an orbit around the Sun. All planets, comets, and asteroids in our Solar System are in such orbits, as are many artificial probes and pieces of debris. The moons of planets in the Solar System, by contrast, are not in heliocentric orbits as they orbit their respective planet...

.

On July 19 at 17:21:50 UTC, Apollo 11 passed behind the Moon and fired its service propulsion engine to enter lunar orbit
Lunar orbit
In astronomy, lunar orbit refers to the orbit of an object around the Moon.As used in the space program, this refers not to the orbit of the Moon about the Earth, but to orbits by various manned or unmanned spacecraft around the Moon...

. In the thirty orbits that followed, the crew saw passing views of their landing site in the southern Sea of Tranquillity (Mare Tranquillitatis
Mare Tranquillitatis
Mare Tranquillitatis is a lunar mare that sits within the Tranquillitatis basin on the Moon. The mare material within the basin consists of basalt formed in the intermediate to young age group of the Upper Imbrian epoch. The surrounding mountains are thought to be of the Lower Imbrian epoch, but...

) about 20 kilometres (12.4 mi) southwest of the crater Sabine D (0.67408N, 23.47297E). The landing site was selected in part because it had been characterized as relatively flat and smooth by the automated Ranger 8
Ranger 8
Ranger 8 was a spacecraft designed to achieve a lunar impact trajectory and to transmit high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface during the final minutes of flight up to impact. The spacecraft carried six television vidicon cameras, two wide angle and four narrow angle to accomplish these...

 and Surveyor 5
Surveyor 5
Surveyor 5 was the fifth lunar lander of the American unmanned Surveyor program sent to explore the surface of the Moon.*Launched September 8, 1967; landed September 11, 1967*Weight on landing: 303 kg...

 landers along with the Lunar Orbiter mapping spacecraft and unlikely to present major landing or extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

 (EVA) challenges.

Lunar descent

On July 20, 1969 the lunar module
Apollo Lunar Module
The Apollo Lunar Module was the lander portion of the Apollo spacecraft built for the US Apollo program by Grumman to carry a crew of two from lunar orbit to the surface and back...

 (LM) Eagle separated from the command module Columbia. Collins, alone aboard Columbia, inspected Eagle as it pirouetted before him to ensure the craft was not damaged.

As the descent began, Armstrong and Aldrin found that they were passing landmarks on the surface 4 seconds early and reported that they were "long": they would land miles west of their target point.

Five minutes into the descent burn, and 6000 feet (1,828.8 m) above the surface of the Moon, the LM navigation and guidance computer
Apollo Guidance Computer
The Apollo Guidance Computer provided onboard computation and control for guidance, navigation, and control of the Command Module and Lunar Module spacecraft of the Apollo program...

 distracted the crew with the first of several unexpected "1202" and "1201" program alarms. Inside Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, computer engineer Jack Garman
Jack Garman
John R. "Jack" Garman is a computer engineer, former senior NASA executive and a noted key figure of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. As a young specialist on duty during the final descent stage on 20 July 1969 he dealt with a series of computer alarms which could have caused the mission to be...

 told guidance officer
Flight controller
Flight controllers are personnel who aid in the operations of a space flight, working in Mission Control Centers such as NASA's Mission Control Center, or ESA's Operations Center. Flight controllers sit at computer consoles and use telemetry to monitor in real time various technical aspects of a...

 Steve Bales
Steve Bales
Steve Bales is a former NASA engineer and flight controller. He is best known for his role during the Apollo 11 lunar landing.-Early life:Bales was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, and grew up in the nearby town of Fremont. His father was a school janitor and his mother was a beautician...

 it was safe to continue the descent and this was relayed to the crew. The program alarms indicated "executive overflows", meaning the guidance computer could not complete all of its tasks in real time and had to postpone some of them.

During the mission, the cause was diagnosed as the rendezvous radar switch being in the wrong position, causing the computer to process data from both the rendezvous and landing radars at the same time. However, in 2005, software engineer Don Eyles concluded in a Guidance and Control Conference paper, that the problem was actually due to a hardware design bug that had been seen previously on testing of the first unmanned LM for Apollo 5
Apollo 5
Apollo 5 was the first unmanned flight of the Apollo Lunar Module, which would later carry astronauts to the lunar surface. It lifted off on January 22, 1968 with a Saturn IB rocket.-Objectives:...

. Having the rendezvous radar on (so that it was warmed up, in case of an emergency landing abort), should have been irrelevant to the computer. But an electrical phasing mismatch between two parts of the rendezvous radar system could cause the stationary antenna to appear to the computer as dithering back and forth between two positions, depending upon how the hardware randomly powered up. The extra spurious cycle stealing
Cycle stealing
Cycle stealing is used to describe the "stealing" of a single CPU cycle, for example, to allow a DMA controller to perform a DMA operation. This is opposed to block operation where a DMA controller would request a bus, hold it for a complete transaction before releasing to a CPU.Cycle stealing...

, as the rendezvous radar updated an involuntary counter, caused the computer alarms.

When Armstrong again looked outside, he saw that the computer's landing target was in a boulder-strewn area just north and east of a 300 metres (984.3 ft) diameter crater (later determined to be "West crater", named for its location in the western part of the originally planned landing ellipse). Armstrong took semi-automatic control and, with Aldrin calling out altitude and velocity data, landed at 20:17 UTC on July 20 with about 25 seconds of fuel left.

Apollo 11 landed with less fuel than other missions, and the astronauts also encountered a premature low fuel warning. This was later found to have been due to greater propellant 'slosh' than expected, uncovering a fuel sensor. On subsequent missions, extra baffles were added to the tanks to prevent this.

Throughout the descent Aldrin had called out navigation data to Armstrong, who was busy piloting the LM. A few moments before the landing, a light informed Aldrin that at least one of the 67 inches (170 cm) probes hanging from Eagles footpads had touched the surface, and he said "Contact light!". Three seconds later, Eagle landed and Armstrong said "Shutdown". Aldrin immediately said "Okay, engine stop. ACA - out of detent
Detent
Detent is the term for a method, as well as the actual device, used to mechanically resist or arrest the rotation of a wheel, axle or spindle....

." Armstrong acknowledged "Out of detent. Auto" and Aldrin continued "Mode control - both auto. Descent engine command override off. Engine arm - off. 413 is in."

Charles Duke, acting as CAPCOM during the landing phase, acknowledged their landing by saying "We copy you down, Eagle".

Armstrong continued with the remainder of the post landing checklist, "Engine arm is off." before responding to Duke with the words, "Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed." Armstrong's abrupt change of call sign from "Eagle" to "Tranquillity Base" caused momentary confusion at Mission Control and Duke remained silent for a couple of seconds before expressing the relief of Mission Control: "Roger, Twan-- Tranquillity, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot."

Two and a half hours after landing, before preparations began for the EVA
Extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

, Aldrin broadcast that:

He then took communion
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 privately. At this time NASA was still fighting a lawsuit brought by atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Madalyn Murray O'Hair was an American atheist activist and founder of the organization American Atheists and its president from 1963 to 1986. One of her sons, Jon Garth Murray, was the president of the organization from 1986 to 1995, while she remained de facto president during these nine years....

 (who had objected to the Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

 crew reading from the Book of Genesis) demanding that their astronauts refrain from religious activities while in space. As such, Aldrin chose to refrain from directly mentioning this. He had kept the plan quiet (not even mentioning it to his wife) and did not reveal it publicly for several years.

Aldrin was an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

 in Webster, Texas
Webster, Texas
Webster is a city in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. The population was 9,083 at the 2000 census.-History:...

. His communion kit was prepared by the pastor of the church, the Rev. Dean Woodruff. Aldrin described communion on the Moon and the involvement of his church and pastor in the October 1970 edition of Guideposts magazine and in his book Return to Earth. Webster Presbyterian possesses the chalice used on the Moon and commemorates the event each year on the Sunday closest to July 20.

The schedule for the mission called for the astronauts to follow the landing with a five-hour sleep period, since they had been awake since early morning. However, they elected to forgo the sleep period and begin the preparations for the EVA early, thinking that they would be unable to sleep.

Lunar surface operations

The astronauts planned placement of the Early Apollo Scientific Experiment Package (EASEP) and the U.S. flag by studying their landing site through Eagles twin triangular windows, which gave them a 60° field of view. Preparation required longer than the two hours scheduled. Armstrong initially had some difficulties squeezing through the hatch with his Portable Life Support System
Primary Life Support System
A Primary Life Support System , is a device connected to an astronaut's or cosmonaut's spacesuit, which allows extra-vehicular activity with maximum freedom, independent of a spacecraft's life support system. The PLSS is generally worn like a backpack...

 (PLSS). According to veteran moon-walker John Young, a redesign of the LM
Apollo Lunar Module
The Apollo Lunar Module was the lander portion of the Apollo spacecraft built for the US Apollo program by Grumman to carry a crew of two from lunar orbit to the surface and back...

 to incorporate a smaller hatch had not been followed by a redesign of the PLSS backpack, so some of the highest heart rates recorded from Apollo astronauts occurred during LM egress and ingress.

At 02:39 UTC on Monday July 21 (10:39pm EDT, Sunday July 20), 1969, Armstrong opened the hatch, and at 02:51 UTC began his descent to the lunar surface. The Remote Control Unit controls on his chest kept him from seeing his feet. Climbing down the nine-rung ladder, Armstrong pulled a D-ring to deploy the Modular Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA) folded against Eagle's side and activate the TV camera, and at 02:56 UTC (10:56pm EDT) he set his left foot on the surface. The first landing used slow-scan television
Slow-scan television
Slow-scan television is a picture transmission method used mainly by amateur radio operators, to transmit and receive static pictures via radio in monochrome or color.A technical term for SSTV is narrowband television...

 incompatible with commercial TV, so it was displayed on a special monitor and a conventional TV camera viewed this monitor, significantly reducing the quality of the picture. The signal was received at Goldstone
Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex
The Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex  — commonly called the Goldstone Observatory — is located in California's Mojave Desert. Operated by ITT Corporation for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, its main purpose is to track and communicate with space missions. It includes the Pioneer...

 in the USA but with better fidelity by Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station
Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station
Honeysuckle Creek was a NASA tracking station near Canberra, Australia, which played an important role in supporting Project Apollo. The station was opened in 1967 and closed in 1981....

 in Australia. Minutes later the feed was switched to the more sensitive Parkes radio telescope
Parkes Observatory
The Parkes Observatory is a radio telescope observatory, 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia. It was one of several radio antennas used to receive live, televised images of the Apollo 11 moon landing on 20 July 1969....

 in Australia. Despite some technical and weather difficulties, ghostly black and white images of the first lunar EVA were received and broadcast to at least 600 million people on Earth. Although copies of this video in broadcast format were saved and are widely available, recordings of the original slow scan source transmission from the lunar surface were accidentally destroyed during routine magnetic tape re-use at NASA.

After describing the surface dust as "very fine-grained" and "almost like a powder", Armstrong stepped off Eagles footpad and uttered his famous line "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" six and a half hours after landing. Aldrin joined him, describing the view as "Magnificent desolation."
About seven minutes after stepping onto the Moon's surface, Armstrong collected a contingency soil sample using a sample bag on a stick. He then folded the bag and tucked it into a pocket on his right thigh. This was to guarantee there would be some lunar soil brought back in case an emergency required the astronauts to abandon the EVA
EVA
Eva or EVA may refer to:* Eva , a given name for women** Eva , a list of people with the name EvaIt may also refer to:-In business and economics:* Earned Value Analysis, a measurement of project progress...

 and return to the LM
Apollo Lunar Module
The Apollo Lunar Module was the lander portion of the Apollo spacecraft built for the US Apollo program by Grumman to carry a crew of two from lunar orbit to the surface and back...

.

In addition to fulfilling President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

's mandate to land a man on the Moon before the end of the 1960s, Apollo 11 was an engineering test of the Apollo system; therefore, Armstrong snapped photos of the LM so engineers would be able to judge its post-landing condition. He removed the TV camera from the MESA and made a panoramic sweep, then mounted it on a tripod 39 feet (11.9 m) from the LM. The TV camera cable remained partly coiled and presented a tripping hazard throughout the EVA.

Armstrong said that moving in the lunar gravity, one-sixth of Earth's, was "even perhaps easier than the simulations... It's absolutely no trouble to walk around". Aldrin joined him on the surface and tested methods for moving around, including two-footed kangaroo hops. The PLSS backpack created a tendency to tip backwards, but neither astronaut had serious problems maintaining balance. Loping became the preferred method of movement. The astronauts reported that they needed to plan their movements six or seven steps ahead. The fine soil was quite slippery. Aldrin remarked that moving from sunlight into Eagles shadow produced no temperature change inside the suit, though the helmet was warmer in sunlight, so he felt cooler in shadow.

The astronauts planted a specially designed U.S. flag
Lunar Flag Assembly
The Lunar Flag Assembly was a flag of the United States and flagpole planted on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts. It was specially designed with a horizontal pole to support the flag on the airless Moon, to make it appear similar to how it would look waving in the wind on Earth...

 on the lunar surface, in clear view of the TV camera. Some time later, President Richard Nixon spoke to them through a telephone-radio transmission which Nixon called "the most historic phone call ever made from the White House." Nixon originally had a long speech prepared to read during the phone call, but Frank Borman
Frank Borman
Frank Frederick Borman, II is a retired NASA astronaut and engineer, best remembered as the Commander of Apollo 8, the first mission to fly around the Moon, making him, along with fellow crew mates Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, the first of only 24 humans to do so...

, who was at the White House as a NASA liaison during Apollo 11, convinced Nixon to keep his words brief, to respect the lunar landing as Kennedy's legacy.

The MESA failed to provide a stable work platform and was in shadow, slowing work somewhat. As they worked, the moonwalkers kicked up gray dust which soiled the outer part of their suits, the integrated thermal meteoroid garment.

They deployed the EASEP, which included a passive seismograph and a laser ranging
Lunar laser ranging experiment
The ongoing Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment measures the distance between the Earth and the Moon using laser ranging. Lasers on Earth are aimed at retroreflectors planted on the moon during the Apollo program, and the time for the reflected light to return is determined...

 retroreflector
Retroreflector
A retroreflector is a device or surface that reflects light back to its source with a minimum scattering of light. An electromagnetic wave front is reflected back along a vector that is parallel to but opposite in direction from the wave's source. The device or surface's angle of incidence is...

. Then Armstrong loped about 120 metres (393.7 ft) from the LM to snap photos at the rim of Little West Crater while Aldrin collected two core tubes. He used the geological hammer to pound in the tubes - the only time the hammer was used on Apollo 11. The astronauts then collected rock samples using scoops and tongs on extension handles. Many of the surface activities took longer than expected, so they had to stop documenting sample collection halfway through the allotted 34 min.

During this period Mission Control used a coded phrase to warn Armstrong that his metabolic rates were high and that he should slow down. He was moving rapidly from task to task as time ran out. However, as metabolic rates remained generally lower than expected for both astronauts throughout the walk, Mission Control granted the astronauts a 15-minute extension.

Lunar ascent and return

Aldrin entered Eagle first. With some difficulty the astronauts lifted film and two sample boxes containing more than 22 kilograms (48.5 lb) of lunar surface material to the LM hatch using a flat cable pulley device called the Lunar Equipment Conveyor. Armstrong reminded Aldrin of a bag of memorial items in his suit pocket sleeve, and Aldrin tossed the bag down; Armstrong then jumped to the ladder's third rung and climbed into the LM. After transferring to LM life support
Life support
Life support, in medicine is a broad term that applies to any therapy used to sustain a patient's life while they are critically ill or injured. There are many therapies and techniques that may be used by clinicians to achieve the goal of sustaining life...

, the explorers lightened the ascent stage for return to lunar orbit by tossing out their PLSS backpacks, lunar overshoes, one Hasselblad
Hasselblad
Victor Hasselblad AB is a Swedish manufacturer of medium-format cameras and photographic equipment based in Gothenburg, Sweden.The company is best known for the medium-format cameras it has produced since World War II....

 camera, and other equipment. They then pressurized the LM, and settled down to sleep.

During this time another spacecraft, Luna 15
Luna 15
-External links:*...

 — an unmanned Soviet spacecraft in lunar orbit, began its own descent to the lunar surface. Launched only three days before the Apollo 11 mission, this was the third Soviet attempt to return lunar soil back to Earth. The Russian craft crashed on the lunar surface at 15:50 UT — just a few hours before the scheduled American liftoff. In a race to reach the Moon and return to Earth, the parallel missions of Luna 15 and Apollo 11 were, in many ways, the climax of the Space Race
Space Race
The Space Race was a mid-to-late 20th century competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in space exploration. Between 1957 and 1975, Cold War rivalry between the two nations focused on attaining firsts in space exploration, which were seen as necessary for national...

 that underlay the space programs of both the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The simultaneous missions became one of the first instances of Soviet/American space cooperation as the USSR released Luna 15's flight plan to ensure it would not collide with Apollo 11, though its exact mission was unknown.

While moving within the cabin, Aldrin accidentally broke the circuit breaker
Circuit breaker
A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to detect a fault condition and, by interrupting continuity, to immediately discontinue electrical flow...

 that would arm the main engine for lift off from the Moon. There was concern this would prevent firing the engine, stranding them on the Moon. Fortunately a felt-tip pen was sufficient to activate the switch. Had this not worked, the Lunar Module circuitry could have been reconfigured to allow firing the ascent engine.
After about seven hours of rest, the crew was awakened by Houston to prepare for the return flight. Two and a half hours later, at 17:54 UTC, they lifted off in Eagles ascent stage, carrying 21.5 kilograms of lunar samples with them, to rejoin CMP Michael Collins aboard Columbia in lunar orbit. During the launch Aldrin looked up in time to see the exhaust from the ascent module's engine knock over the American flag they had planted. After more than 2½ hours on the lunar surface, they had left behind scientific instruments which included a retroreflector
Retroreflector
A retroreflector is a device or surface that reflects light back to its source with a minimum scattering of light. An electromagnetic wave front is reflected back along a vector that is parallel to but opposite in direction from the wave's source. The device or surface's angle of incidence is...

 array used for the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment
Lunar laser ranging experiment
The ongoing Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment measures the distance between the Earth and the Moon using laser ranging. Lasers on Earth are aimed at retroreflectors planted on the moon during the Apollo program, and the time for the reflected light to return is determined...

 and a Passive Seismic Experiment used to measure Moon quakes. They also left an American flag
Flag of the United States
The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

, an Apollo 1
Apollo 1
Apollo 1 was scheduled to be the first manned mission of the Apollo manned lunar landing program, with a target launch date of February 21, 1967. A cabin fire during a launch pad test on January 27 at Launch Pad 34 at Cape Canaveral killed all three crew members: Command Pilot Virgil "Gus"...

 mission patch, and a plaque
Lunar plaque
Lunar plaques are rectangular stainless steel plaques attached to the ladders on the descent stages of the American lunar modules used from Apollo 11 through Apollo 17. All of the plaques bear facsimiles of the participating astronauts' signatures. Two of the plaques bear a facsimile of the...

 (mounted on the LM Descent Stage ladder) bearing two drawings of Earth (of the Western and Eastern Hemispheres), an inscription, and signatures of the astronauts and President Richard M. Nixon. The inscription read:

They also left behind a memorial bag containing a gold replica of an olive branch as a traditional symbol of peace and a silicon message disk. The disk carries the goodwill statements
Apollo 11 Goodwill Messages
The Apollo 11 goodwill messages are statements from leaders of 73 countries around the world on a disc about the size of a 50-cent piece made of silicon that was left on the Moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts....

 by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon and messages from leaders of 73 countries around the world. The disc also carries a listing of the leadership of the US Congress, a listing of members of the four committees of the House and Senate responsible for the NASA legislation, and the names of NASA's past and present top management. (In his 1989 book, Men from Earth, Aldrin says that the items included Soviet medals commemorating Cosmonauts Vladimir Komarov and Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961....

.) Also, according to Deke Slayton
Deke Slayton
Donald Kent Slayton , better known as Deke Slayton, was an American World War II pilot and later, one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts....

's book 'Moonshot', Armstrong carried with him a special diamond-studded Astronaut pin from Slayton.

Film taken from the LM Ascent Stage upon liftoff from the Moon reveals the American flag, planted some 25 feet (8 m) from the descent stage, whipping violently in the exhaust of the ascent stage engine. Buzz Aldrin witnessed it topple: "The ascent stage of the LM separated ...I was concentrating on the computers, and Neil was studying the attitude indicator
Attitude indicator
An attitude indicator , also known as gyro horizon or artificial horizon, is an instrument used in an aircraft to inform the pilot of the orientation of the aircraft relative to earth. It indicates pitch and bank or roll and is a primary instrument for flight in instrument meteorological conditions...

, but I looked up long enough to see the flag fall over." Subsequent Apollo missions usually planted the American flags at least 100 feet (30.5 m) from the LM to prevent its being blown over by the ascent engine exhaust.

After rendezvous with Columbia, Eagle's ascent stage was jettisoned into lunar orbit at July 21, 1969 at 23:41 UT (7:41 PM EDT). Just before the Apollo 12 flight, it was noted that Eagle was still likely to be orbiting the Moon. Later NASA reports mentioned that Eagle's orbit had decayed, resulting in it impacting in an "uncertain location" on the lunar surface. The location is uncertain because the Eagle ascent stage was not tracked after it was jettisoned, and the lunar gravity field is sufficiently non-uniform to make the orbit of the spacecraft unpredictable after a short time. NASA estimated that the orbit had decayed within months and would have impacted on the Moon.

On July 23, the last night before splashdown, the three astronauts made a television broadcast in which Collins commented,
"... The Saturn V rocket which put us in orbit is an incredibly complicated piece of machinery, every piece of which worked flawlessly ... We have always had confidence that this equipment will work properly. All this is possible only through the blood, sweat, and tears of a number of a people ...All you see is the three of us, but beneath the surface are thousands and thousands of others, and to all of those, I would like to say, 'Thank you very much.'"

Aldrin added,
"This has been far more than three men on a mission to the Moon; more, still, than the efforts of a government and industry team; more, even, than the efforts of one nation. We feel that this stands as a symbol of the insatiable curiosity of all mankind to explore the unknown ... Personally, in reflecting on the events of the past several days, a verse from Psalms comes to mind. 'When I consider the heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the Moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man that Thou art mindful of him?'"

Armstrong concluded,
"The responsibility for this flight lies first with history and with the giants of science who have preceded this effort; next with the American people, who have, through their will, indicated their desire; next with four administrations and their Congresses, for implementing that will; and then, with the agency and industry teams that built our spacecraft, the Saturn, the Columbia, the Eagle, and the little EMU
Extravehicular Mobility Unit
The Space Shuttle/International Space Station Extravehicular Mobility Unit is an independent anthropomorphic system that provides environmental protection, mobility, life support, and communications for a Space Shuttle or International Space Station crew member to perform extra-vehicular activity...

, the spacesuit and backpack that was our small spacecraft out on the lunar surface. We would like to give special thanks to all those Americans who built the spacecraft; who did the construction, design, the tests, and put their hearts and all their abilities into those craft. To those people tonight, we give a special thank you, and to all the other people that are listening and watching tonight, God bless you. Good night from Apollo 11."


On the return to Earth, the Guam tracking station failed, which would have prevented communication on the last segment of the Earth return. Repair was not possible until a staff member had his ten-year old son, Greg Force, do repairs made possible by his small hands. Force later was thanked by Armstrong.

Splashdown and quarantine

On July 24, the astronauts returned home aboard the command module Columbia just before dawn at 13°19′N 169°9′W, in the Pacific Ocean 2660 kilometres (1,436.3 nmi) east of Wake Island
Wake Island
Wake Island is a coral atoll having a coastline of in the North Pacific Ocean, located about two-thirds of the way from Honolulu west to Guam east. It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior...

, or 380 kilometres (205.2 nmi) south of Johnston Atoll
Johnston Atoll
Johnston Atoll is a atoll in the North Pacific Ocean about west of Hawaii. There are four islands located on the coral reef platform, two natural islands, Johnston Island and Sand Island, which have been expanded by coral dredging, as well as North Island and East Island , an additional two...

, and 24 kilometres (14.9 mi) from the recovery ship, USS Hornet
USS Hornet (CV-12)
USS Hornet is a United States Navy aircraft carrier of the Essex class. Construction started in August 1942; she was originally named , but was renamed in honor of the , which was lost in October 1942, becoming the eighth ship to bear the name.Hornet was commissioned in November 1943, and after...

.

At roughly 11:45 a.m. CST the drogue parachute
Drogue parachute
A drogue parachute is a parachute designed to be deployed from a rapidly moving object in order to slow the object, or to provide control and stability, or as a pilot parachute to deploy a larger parachute...

s deployed. At 11:51, the command module struck the water forcefully. Initially the command module landed upside down but was righted in several minutes by flotation bags triggered by the astronauts. "Everything's okay. Our checklist is complete. Awaiting swimmers," was Armstrong's last official transmission from the Columbia. A diver from the Navy helicopter hovering above attached a sea anchor to the command module to prevent it from drifting. Additional divers attached flotation collars to stabilize the module and position rafts for astronaut extraction. Though the chance of bringing back pathogen
Pathogen
A pathogen gignomai "I give birth to") or infectious agent — colloquially, a germ — is a microbe or microorganism such as a virus, bacterium, prion, or fungus that causes disease in its animal or plant host...

s from the lunar surface was considered remote, it was considered a possibility and NASA took great precautions at the recovery site. Divers provided the astronauts with Biological Isolation Garments (BIGs) which were worn until they reached isolation facilities onboard the Hornet. Additionally astronauts were rubbed down with a sodium-hydrochloride solution and the command module wiped with Betadine
Betadine
Povidone-iodine is a stable chemical complex of polyvinylpyrrolidone and elemental iodine. It contains from 9.0% to 12.0% available iodine, calculated on a dry basis....

 to remove any lunar dust that might be present. The raft containing decontamination materials was then intentionally sunk.

A second Sea King
H-3 Sea King
The Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King is a twin-engined anti-submarine warfare helicopter. It served with the United States Navy and other forces, and continues to serve in many countries around the world. The Sea King has been built under license in Italy and Japan, and in the United Kingdom as the...

 helicopter hoisted the astronauts aboard one by one, where a NASA flight surgeon
Flight surgeon
A flight surgeon is a military medical officer assigned to duties in the clinical field variously known as aviation medicine, aerospace medicine, or flight medicine...

 gave each a brief physical check during the 0.5 nautical miles (926 m) trip back to the Hornet.
After touchdown on the Hornet, the astronauts exited the helicopter, leaving the flight surgeon and three crewmen. The helicopter was then lowered into hangar bay #2 where the astronauts walked the 30 feet (9.1 m) to the Mobile Quarantine Facility
Mobile Quarantine Facility
The Mobile Quarantine Facility is a converted Airstream trailer used by NASA to quarantine astronauts returning from Apollo lunar missions. Its purpose was to prevent the spread of any contagions from the moon, though the existence of such contagions was considered unlikely...

 (MQF) where they would begin their 21 days of quarantine. This practice would continue for two more Apollo missions, Apollo 12
Apollo 12
Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the American Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon . It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L...

 and Apollo 14
Apollo 14
Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the American Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the "H missions", targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks....

, before the Moon was proven to be barren of life and the quarantine process dropped.

President Richard Nixon was aboard Hornet to personally welcome the astronauts back to Earth. He told the astronauts, "As a result of what you've done, the world has never been closer together before." After Nixon departed, the Hornet was brought alongside the five-ton command module where it was placed aboard by the ship's crane, placed on a dolly and moved next to the MQF. The Hornet sailed for Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

 where the command module and MQF were airlifted to the Johnson Space Center.

Years later, it was publicly revealed that Nixon had prepared a speech to be given in the event the Lunar Module had failed to lift off from the lunar surface, which would have resulted in Armstrong's and Aldrin's deaths, similar to common newspaper obituary or government contingency plan
Contingency plan
A contingency plan is a plan devised for an exceptional risk which is impractical or impossible to avoid. Contingency plans are often devised by governments or businesses who want to be prepared for events which, while highly unlikely, may have catastrophic effects. For example, suppose many...

 procedures and policies.
In accordance with the recently passed Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law
Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law
The Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law was the popular name for a United States administrative regulation promulgated in 1969 to prevent the spread of biological contamination from space. Implemented before the Apollo 11 mission, it provided the legal authority for a quarantine period for the...

, the astronauts were placed in quarantine for fear that the Moon might contain undiscovered pathogen
Pathogen
A pathogen gignomai "I give birth to") or infectious agent — colloquially, a germ — is a microbe or microorganism such as a virus, bacterium, prion, or fungus that causes disease in its animal or plant host...

s and that the astronauts might have been exposed to them during their Moon walks. However, after almost three weeks in confinement (first in their trailer and later in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory
Lunar Receiving Laboratory
The Lunar Receiving Laboratory was a facility at NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center that was constructed to quarantine astronauts and material brought back from the Moon during the Apollo program to mitigate the risk of back-contamination...

 at the Manned Spacecraft Center
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's center for human spaceflight training, research and flight control. The center consists of a complex of 100 buildings constructed on 1,620 acres in Houston, Texas, USA...

), the astronauts were given a clean bill of health. On August 13, 1969, the astronauts exited quarantine to the cheers of the American public. Parades were held in their honor in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles on the same day. A few weeks later, they were invited by Mexico for a parade honoring them in Mexico City.

That evening in Los Angeles there was an official State Dinner
State dinner
A state dinner is a dinner or banquet paid by a government and hosted by a head of state in his or her official residence in order to renew and celebrate diplomatic ties between the host country and the country of a foreign head of state or head of government who was issued an invitation. In many...

 to celebrate Apollo 11, attended by members of Congress, 44 governors, the Chief Justice of the United States
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

, and ambassadors from 83 nations at the Century Plaza Hotel
Century Plaza Hotel
The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles is a landmark 19-story luxury hotel forming a sweeping crescent design fronting the spectacular fountains on Avenue of the Stars adjacent to the twin Century Plaza Towers and the CAA building.- History :...

. President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew honored each astronaut with a presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

. This celebration was the beginning of a 45-day "Giant Leap" tour that brought the astronauts to 25 foreign countries and included visits with prominent leaders such as Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 of the United Kingdom. Many nations would honor the first manned Moon landing
Moon landing
A moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission on 13 September 1959. The United States's Apollo 11 was the first manned...

 by issuing Apollo 11 commemorative postage stamps or coins.

On September 16, 1969, the three astronauts spoke before a joint session of Congress
Joint session of the United States Congress
Joint sessions of the United States Congress are the gatherings together of both houses of the United States Congress...

 on Capitol Hill. They presented two U.S. flags, one to the House of Representatives and the other to the Senate, that had been carried to the surface of the Moon with them.

Spacecraft location

The command module is displayed at the National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1976. Located in Washington, D.C., United States, it is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and...

, Washington, D.C. It is in the central Milestones of Flight exhibition hall in front of the Jefferson Drive entrance, sharing the main hall with other pioneering flight vehicles such as the Wright Flyer
Wright Flyer
The Wright Flyer was the first powered aircraft, designed and built by the Wright brothers. They flew it four times on December 17, 1903 near the Kill Devil Hills, about four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, U.S.The U.S...

, the Spirit of St. Louis
Spirit of St. Louis
The Spirit of St. Louis is the custom-built, single engine, single-seat monoplane that was flown solo by Charles Lindbergh on May 20–21, 1927, on the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris for which Lindbergh won the $25,000 Orteig Prize.Lindbergh took off in the Spirit from Roosevelt...

, the Bell X-1
Bell X-1
The Bell X-1, originally designated XS-1, was a joint NACA-U.S. Army/US Air Force supersonic research project built by Bell Aircraft. Conceived in 1944 and designed and built over 1945, it eventually reached nearly 1,000 mph in 1948...

, the North American X-15
North American X-15
The North American X-15 rocket-powered aircraft/spaceplane was part of the X-series of experimental aircraft, initiated with the Bell X-1, that were made for the USAAF/USAF, NACA/NASA, and the USN. The X-15 set speed and altitude records in the early 1960s, reaching the edge of outer space and...

, Mercury
Project Mercury
In January 1960 NASA awarded Western Electric Company a contract for the Mercury tracking network. The value of the contract was over $33 million. Also in January, McDonnell delivered the first production-type Mercury spacecraft, less than a year after award of the formal contract. On February 12,...

 spacecraft Friendship 7, and Gemini 4
Gemini 4
Gemini 4 was the second manned space flight in NASA's Project Gemini, occurring in June 1965. It was the tenth manned American spaceflight . Astronauts James McDivitt and Edward H. White, II circled the Earth 66 times in four days, making it the first US flight to approach the five-day flight of...

. Armstrong's and Aldrin's space suits are displayed in the museum's Apollo to the Moon exhibit. The quarantine trailer, the flotation collar, and the righting spheres are displayed at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center annex near Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. The airport serves the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia metropolitan area centered on the District of Columbia. It is named after John Foster Dulles, Secretary of...

 in Virginia.

In 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
The Lunar Precursor Robotic Program is a program of robotic spacecraft missions which NASA will use to prepare for future human spaceflight missions to the Moon. Two LPRP missions, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite , were launched in June 2009...

 imaged the various Apollo landing sites on the surface of the Moon with sufficient resolution to see the descent stages of the lunar modules, scientific instruments, and foot trails made by the astronauts.

Mission insignia

The patch
Mission patch
A mission patch is a cloth badge worn by astronauts and other personnel affiliated with a manned or unmanned space mission. A new patch is created for each mission.- Origins :Mission patches were first sported by NASA astronauts in 1965...

 of Apollo 11 was designed by Collins, who wanted a symbol for "peaceful lunar landing by the United States." He chose an eagle as the symbol, put an olive branch
Olive branch
The olive branch in Western culture, derived from the customs of Ancient Greece, symbolizes peace or victory and was worn by brides.-Ancient Greece and Rome:...

 in its beak, and drew a lunar background with the Earth in the distance. NASA officials said the talons of the eagle looked too "warlike" and after some discussion, the olive branch was moved to the claws. The crew decided the Roman numeral XI
11 (number)
11 is the natural number following 10 and preceding 12.Eleven is the first number which cannot be counted with a human's eight fingers and two thumbs additively. In English, it is the smallest positive integer requiring three syllables and the largest prime number with a single-morpheme name...

 would not be understood in some nations and went with Apollo 11; they decided not to put their names on the patch, so it would "be representative of everyone who had worked toward a lunar landing."

All colors are natural, with blue and gold borders around the patch. The LM was named Eagle to match the insignia. When the Eisenhower dollar coin
Eisenhower Dollar
The Eisenhower dollar is a $1 coin issued by the United States government from 1971–1978...

 was released a few years later, the patch design provided the eagle for its reverse side. The design was retained for the smaller Susan B. Anthony dollar
Susan B. Anthony dollar
The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a United States coin minted from 1979 to 1981, and again in 1999. It depicts women's suffrage campaigner Susan B. Anthony on a dollar coin. It was the first circulating U.S. coin with the portrait of an actual woman rather than an allegorical female figure such as...

 which was unveiled in 1979, ten years after the Apollo 11 mission.

40th anniversary events

On July 15, 2009, Life.com
Life (magazine)
Life generally refers to three American magazines:*A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936. Time founder Henry Luce bought the magazine in 1936 solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name....

 released a photo gallery of previously unpublished photos of the astronauts taken by Life photographer Ralph Morse
Ralph Morse
Ralph Morse was a career staff photographer for Life magazine known for his inventive mind and his creative style. Encyclopedias and history books abound with his photos, as he has photographed some of the most widely seen pictures of World War II, the United States space program, and sports...

 prior to the Apollo 11 launch.

From July 16–24, 2009 NASA streamed the original mission audio on its website in real time 40 years to the minute after the events occurred.
In addition, it is in the process of restoring the video footage and has released a preview of key moments.

The John F. Kennedy Library
John F. Kennedy Library
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and museum of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. It is located on Columbia Point in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, USA, next to the Boston campus of the University of...

 set up a Flash
Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements, games and flash animations for broadcast...

 website wechoosethemoon.org that rebroadcasts the transmissions of Apollo 11 from launch to landing on the Moon.

A group of British scientists interviewed as part of the anniversary events reflected on the significance of the Moon landing:

It was carried out in a technically brilliant way with risks taken ... that would be inconceivable in the risk-averse world of today...The Apollo programme is arguably the greatest technical achievement of mankind to date...nothing since Apollo has come close [to] the excitement that was generated by those astronauts - Armstrong, Aldrin and the 10 others who followed them.


On August 7, 2009, an act of Congress awarded the three astronauts a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the United States. The bill was sponsored by Florida Sen. Bill Nelson
Bill Nelson
Clarence William "Bill" Nelson is the senior United States Senator from the state of Florida and a member of the Democratic Party. He is a former U.S. Representative and former Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner of Florida...

 and Florida Rep. Alan Grayson
Alan Grayson
Alan Mark Grayson is a former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2009 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party and loves cookies. After losing the election he moved to Austin to start stand-up comedy and a cookie business. The district Grayson represented lies in central Florida...

.

See also

  • Apollo 11 in popular culture
    Apollo 11 in popular culture
    The Apollo 11 mission was the first human spaceflight mission to land on the Moon. The mission's wide effect on popular culture was anticipated and since then there have been a number of portrayals in media along with incidental stories and folklore....

  • Apollo 11 missing tapes
  • Apollo Guidance Computer
    Apollo Guidance Computer
    The Apollo Guidance Computer provided onboard computation and control for guidance, navigation, and control of the Command Module and Lunar Module spacecraft of the Apollo program...

  • Extra-vehicular activity
    Extra-vehicular activity
    Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

  • Google Moon
    Google Moon
    Google Moon is a service similar to Google Maps that shows satellite images of the Moon. It was launched by Google on July 20, 2005, the 36th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing...

  • List of artificial objects on the Moon
  • List of spacewalks and moonwalks
  • Moon landing conspiracy theories
  • NASA's Story
    NASA's Story
    NASA's Story is a documentary series by Dangerous Films for the BBC to commemorate 50 years since the formation of NASA. The series looks at NASA's early history, the triumphs and disasters, notably the Apollo 1 fire, through to the manned Moon missions and the Space Shuttle era...

  • Splashdown (spacecraft landing)
    Splashdown (spacecraft landing)
    Splashdown is the method of landing a spacecraft by parachute in a body of water. It was used by American manned spacecraft prior to the Space Shuttle program. It is also possible for the Russian Soyuz spacecraft and Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft to land in water, though this is only a contingency...

  • Wernher von Braun
    Wernher von Braun
    Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun was a German rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, space architect, and one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany during World War II and in the United States after that.A former member of the Nazi party,...


Further reading

  • In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquillity
    In the Shadow of the Moon (book)
    In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility is a 2007 non-fiction book by space historians Francis French and Colin Burgess...

     by Francis French
    Francis French
    Francis French is a book and magazine author from Manchester, England, specializing in space flight history. He is a former director of events for Sally Ride Science, and a director at the San Diego Air & Space Museum....

     and Colin Burgess
    Colin Burgess (author)
    Colin Burgess is an Australian author and historian, specializing in space flight and military history. He is a former customer service manager for Qantas Airways, and a regular contributor to the collectSPACE online community. He lives in New South Wales...

    , University of Nebraska Press
    University of Nebraska Press
    The University of Nebraska Press, founded in 1941, is a publisher of scholarly and popular-press books. It is the second-largest state university press in the United States and, including private institutions, ranks among the 10 largest university presses in the United States...

    , September 2007, ISBN 978-0-8032-1128-5. First hand interviews with the astronauts about the Moon landing.


For young readers
  • Aldrin, Buzz. Reaching for the Moon. HarperCollins, 2005, 40 pages, ISBN 978-0-060-55445-3
  • Floca, Brian. Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11. Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, 2009, 48 pages, ISBN 978-1416950462
  • Thimmesh, Catherine. Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon. Houghton Mifflin, 2006, 80 pages, ISBN 978-0-618-50757-3

External links


NASA reports


Multimedia

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