... Apollo 11 ...
On July 16, 1969, at 9:32 am Eastern standard time,
three astronauts launched into space, from Launch Complex 39A
at Cape Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The crew of Apollo 11 consisted of Neil Armstrong—the mission's
as well as Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. and Michael Collins.
Their spacecraft, powered by a 363 foot Saturn V rocket,
reached the Earth's orbit in about 12 minutes.
After orbiting Earth one and a half times, the astronauts were given the
to begin heading to the Moon. Three days later, on July 19,
they reached the lunar orbit, after going about 240,000 miles in 76
Collins stayed in the command module, Columbia,
while Aldrin and Armstrong went into the lunar module, Eagle.
At 1:46 pm on July 20, the Eagle detached from the command module,
and two hours later it began its descent.
With only 30 seconds of fuel left, the module touched down on the Moon
at 4:18 pm,
on what became known as Tranquility Base,
in the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility.
Armstrong spoke to mission control (located in Houston, Texas), saying
Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
At 10:39 pm, the module's hatch was opened, and 17 minutes later at
Neil Armstrong climbed down the ladder and became the first human to
plant his foot on the Moon.
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,"
he proclaimed. Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later,
and described the Moon's surface as "magnificent desolation."
They collected samples, did scientific tests, and took photographs.
They planted an American flag,
left behind a patch that honored those who perished in Apollo 1,
and left a plaque that said,
"Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969
We came in peace for all mankind."
At 1:11 am they were back in the lunar module,
and then spent the night sleeping on the Moon's surface.