Little Bits of History

One Small Step

Posted in History by patriciahysell on July 20, 2010

Neil Armstrong on the moon

July 20, 1969: The first humans walk on the moon. The Apollo 11 spacecraft was the fifth manned mission of the Apollo program and the third human voyage to the moon. The launch was on July 16th from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. President Kennedy had promised that the US would land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. The country had months to spare.

The three man crew consisted of Neil Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, lunar module pilot. All men had participated in the Gemini program earlier in the decade. The launch was watched by millions when the magic words “We have lift-off” were heard at 9:32 AM and twelve minutes later the spacecraft entered Earth orbit.

Three long days later, Apollo 11 passed behind the moon and entered the lunar orbit pattern. The crew located the Sea of Tranquility and the lunar craft landed at Tranquility Base at 4:17 PM Eastern Daylight Time. The Eagle had landed. Six hours later. Neil Armstrong took the first human step onto the moon with Buzz Aldrin joining shortly thereafter.

The two men spent 21 hours on the surface. They returned to the command module around noon the next day. The astronauts left behind an American flag, a plaque stating that this where mankind first stepped on the barren moon, and scientific equipment that allowed for future study. They also took rock samples for further study once they were back on Earth. They successfully returned to earth on July 24, and a new era had begun.

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong, as he stepped onto the moon.

“Beautiful. Beautiful. Magnificent desolation.” – Buzz Aldrin, as he stepped onto the moon.

“Whoever knocks persistently, ends by entering.” – ‘Ali

“Space is open to us now; and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others. We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share. … I believe we should go to the moon.” John F. Kennedy, in a speech on May 25 1961 to introduce this new goal

Also on this date, in 1984 the Miss America officials asked Vanessa Williams to step down.
Bonus Link: In 1942, the Women’s Army Corps
begins training.

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