Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first people to walk on the moon. After more than ​21 12 hours on the lunar surface, in addition to the scientific instruments, they left behind an Apollo 1 mission patch (see notes 1) and 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 by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon and messages from leaders of 73 countries around the world.

Each message, some handwritten, others typed, was reduced 200 times to a size much smaller than the head of a pin and appears on the disc as a barely visible dot. The disc remains on the lunar surface, protected within an aluminum capsule.

All the messages are reproduced and you can read them on the website forallmoonkind.org.

Message of the President John F. Kennedy:

“We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share . . . I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth. No single space project in this period will be more exciting, or more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space, and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish…”

President John F. Kennedy. May 25, 1961.

For All Moonkind” is a website dedicated to protecting human heritage in outer space.

Moon Landing - Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
Moon Landing: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the 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


  1. On January 27, 1967, three NASA astronauts, Roger B. Chaffee (b. February 15, 1935), Virgil I. Grissom (b. April 3, 1926), and Edward H. White II (b. November 14, 1930) died when a flash fire swept through the Apollo 1 command module during a launch rehearsal test.


M. Özgür Nevres

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