The Apollo 11 mission was the first manned lunar landing. It was the fifth manned mission in the Apollo program.
Apollo 11: NASA
- Launched: July 16, 1969
- Returned: July 24, 1969
- Crew members: Neil Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot
- Command module: Columbia
- Lunar module: Eagle
- Landed: July 20, 1969
- Lunar landing site: 1.1 N, 23.8 E -- Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility)
- On surface: 21.6 hours
- Lunar EVA: 2.5 hours
- Samples: 22 kg
|Aldrin stands next to the PSEP and LEM on the moon|
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin near a leg of the Lunar Module, PD NASA photo
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin during a walk near a leg of the Lunar Module.
July 20, 1969 (NASA)
That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind. ―Neil Armstrong
Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon, followed by Aldrin. Collins remained in orbit above the Moon.
- On July 20, while on the far side of the moon, the lunar module, called "Eagle," separated from the "Columbia". Collins remained aboard Columbia while Eagle, carrying Armstrong and Aldrin, descended to the surface.
- After a careful visual inspection, Eagle fired its engine and began its descent. During the descent to the lunar surface, the astronauts noticed that the intended landing site was rockier than surveillance photographs had indicated. Armstrong took manual control of the lunar module at that point, and guided it to a landing on a smoother patch of ground, later known as Tranquility Base.
- Six and a half hours after landing, Armstrong made his descent to the moon surface and made the famous statement: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." (Though he apparently dropped the "a", changing the meaning of the statement--some historians have been charitable and called this a radio communication failure rather than a simple mistake by Armstrong).
- After 21 hours and 36 minutes, Eagle fired its ascent engines and rendezvoused with the Columbia for the return flight. The astronauts returned to earth on July 24, welcomed as heroes.
See also: Apollo moon landing conspiracy theory