July 16, 1969 – Apollo 11 launches for the moon
The Apollo 11 mission was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. It was the fifth human spaceflight of the Apollo program and the third human voyage to the moon. Launched on July 16, 1969, it carried Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr. On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon, while Collins orbited above.
16-24 Jul. 1969 The first lunar landing mission, Apollo 11 lifted off on 16 Jul. 1969, and after confirming that the hardware was working well began the three day trip to the Moon. At 4:18 p.m. EST on 20 Jul. 1969 the LM—with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin—landed on the lunar surface while Michael Collins orbited overhead in the Apollo command module. After checkout, Armstrong set foot on the surface, telling the millions of listeners that it was “one small step for man—one giant leap for mankind.” Aldrin soon followed him out and the two plodded around the landing site in the 1/6 lunar gravity, planted an American flag but omitted claiming the land for the U.S. as had routinely been done during European exploration of the Americas, collected soil and rock samples, and set up some experiments. After more than 21 hours on the lunar surface, they returned to Collins on board “Columbia,” bringing 20.87 kilograms of lunar samples with them. The two Moon walkers had left behind scientific instruments, an American flag and other mementos, including a plaque bearing the inscription: “Here Men From Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon. Jul. 1969 A.D. We came in Peace For All Mankind.” The next day they began the return trip to Earth, “splashing down” in the Pacific on 24 Jul.