On July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC, two American astronauts, Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module Eagle on the Moon. It was the first time humans set foot on another planetary body other than Earth, making the moon landing probably the most monumental event in history.

Vox.com published a beautiful video highlighting the key moments of the Apollo 11 mission.

Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on a journey to pull off humankind’s first moon landing. The eight-day journey was made possible by the careful deconstruction of the Saturn V rocket and Apollo spacecraft and made use of a technique of docking components of the spacecraft in lunar orbit so the astronauts could land on, and then launch from, the lunar surface. The moon landing was a feat of engineering, accomplished through the careful deconstruction of a 3,000-ton spacecraft.

Apollo 11’s journey to the moon

Apollo 11 was launched by a mighty Saturn V rocket from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. About 12 minutes later, the crew was in Earth orbit. After one and a half orbits, Apollo 11 got a “go” for what mission controllers call “Translunar Injection”. In other words, it was time to head for the Moon.

Three days later the crew was in lunar orbit. A day after that, Armstrong and Aldrin climbed into the lunar module Eagle and began the descent, while Collins was orbiting the Moon in the command module Columbia.

Eagle landed in the Sea of Tranquility at 20:17:40 UTC on Sunday, July 20 with only about 25 seconds of fuel left. Armstrong and Aldrin stayed a total of 21 hours, and 36 minutes on the lunar surface.

The astronauts used Eagle’s upper stage to lift off from the lunar surface and rejoin Collins in the command module. They jettisoned Eagle before they performed the maneuvers that blasted them out of lunar orbit on a trajectory back to Earth. They returned to Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.

Journey to the moon: Apollo 11 significant events
Apollo 11’s journey to the moon: Significant events of Apollo 11 and proposed constellation mission. Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first two humans on the Moon. Mission commander Neil Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) and pilot Buzz Aldrin (born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr.; January 20, 1930) landed the lunar module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. A third astronaut, Michael Collins (born October 31, 1930) piloted the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon’s surface. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours after landing on July 21 at 02:56:15 UTC; Aldrin joined him about 20 minutes later.
Moon Landing - Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
Moon Landing: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, stands on the surface of the moon near the leg of the lunar module, Eagle, during the Apollo 11 moonwalk. Astronaut Neil Armstrong, mission commander, took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. While Armstrong and Aldrin descended in the lunar module to explore the Sea of Tranquility, astronaut Michael Collins, command module pilot, remained in lunar orbit with the Command and Service Module, Columbia. This is the actual photograph as exposed on the moon by Armstrong. He held the camera slightly rotated so that the camera frame did not include the top of Aldrin’s portable life support system (“backpack”). A communications antenna mounted on top of the backpack is also cut off in this picture. When the image was released to the public, it was rotated clockwise to restore the astronaut to vertical for a more harmonious composition, and a black area was added above his head to recreate the missing black lunar “sky”. The edited version is the one most commonly reproduced and known to the public, but the original version, above, is the authentic exposure. This image was cataloged by NASA Headquarters of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under Photo ID: AS11-40-5903. Image: Wikipedia

Here is the footage of the Apollo 11 launch below. See how a powerful beast was the Saturn V moon rocket.

The liftoff of Apollo 11’s Saturn V carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins into space exploration history on July 16, 1969. Look for the shockwave as the Saturn V punches through the clouds at 1:14!
M. Özgür Nevres
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