“One giant leap for mankind:” Sunday marks 45th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing

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(CNN) — Sunday, July 20th marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Here’s a look back at the sights and sounds from that milestone day in United States history.

Here’s a look at what you need to know about the first moon landing on July 20, 1969. The moon landing was watched by an estimated 600 million people around the world.

Facts: July 20, 1969 – [4:17 pm EDT] Apollo 11 becomes the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon.

Neil Armstrong (commander), Buzz Aldrin (lunar module pilot) and Michael Collins (command module pilot) were the crew

The Apollo 11 spacecraft consisted of the command module, Columbia, and the lunar module, Eagle.

The crew traveled 240,000 miles from the Earth to the moon in 76 hours.

ABC, CBS, and NBC spent, collectively, between $11 and $12 million on Apollo 11 coverage and covered the mission from Sunday morning until Monday evening.

Timeline: May 25, 1961 – President John F. Kennedy addresses Congress, “First, 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 the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”

November 21, 1962 – President Kennedy tells NASA Administrator James Webb, “This is, whether we like it or not, a race. Everything we do [in space] ought to be tied into getting to the moon ahead of the Russians.”

May 18, 1969 – Apollo 10 lifts off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. This launch is a dress rehearsal for Apollo 11. The crew, Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernan orbit the moon and then return to earth 8 days, 3 minutes and 3 seconds later.

July 16, 1969 – At 9:32 am EDT Apollo 11 lifts off from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

July 20, 1969 – At 1:47 pm EDT Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, in the lunar module Eagle, separate from the command module. Collins remains onboard the Columbia orbiting the moon. – 4:17 pm EDT – The Eagle lands. – 4:18 pm EDT – “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed,” Armstrong reports as the lunar module lands on the moon’s surface at the Sea of Tranquility. The module has only enough fuel to run for 40 more seconds. – 10:56 pm EDT – Armstrong says, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” as he becomes the first human to set foot on the moon. – 11:15 pm EDT (approx.) – Buzz Aldrin joins Armstrong on the moon. The men read from a plaque signed by the three crew members and the president, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” – 11:48 pm EDT – President Nixon speaks to Armstrong and Aldrin via radio from the Oval Office, “(it) certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made.” They speak for two minutes and the call is televised on both ends. – Armstrong and Aldrin spend over 2 hours collecting moon rock samples and data and spend the night onboard the Eagle.

July 21, 1969 – At 1:54 pm EDT – The Eagle departs from the moon to rendezvous with Columbia. – 5:35 pm EDT – The Eagle docks with Columbia. After transferring moon rocks, data, and equipment, the Eagle is jettisoned, and the crew begins the flight back to Earth.

July 22, 1969 – Columbia reaches a trajectory toward Earth.

July 24, 1969 – At 12:50 pm EDT Columbia splashes down, eight days, three hours and 18 minutes after liftoff. The astronauts return to Earth in the Pacific Ocean about 900 miles from Hawaii then go into quarantine aboard the USS Hornet.

August 10, 1969 – The astronauts are released from quarantine.

If you weren’t alive 45 years ago to experience the Apollo 11 moon landing in real time, you can relive the mission moment-by-moment on Twitter.

Since Wednesday, NASA has been live tweeting the Apollo 11 launch, moon landing and recovery.

NASA’s media team at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL, is handling the “live” tweet event using account @ReliveApollo11 and #Apollo11.

They will be posting “live” updates as the mission progresses as well as photos throughout the mission’s recreation.

CLICK HERE to “Relive Apollo 11” on Twitter.

CLICK HERE to explore one hundred of the Apollo 11 objects in the National Air and Space Museum’s collection — and MORE!


  • Neil Armstrong Eagle

    commemorating the unprecedented moment of landing of man on the moon after 45years, neil armstrong set foot on the moon the very first time along with edwin buzz aldrin… see live streaming at w.atch.me/3aAyOi of lunar surface in hd today…

  • Jack condon

    The moon missions were faked in a studio. Here’s a link to some of the proof.
    spurstalk (dot) com/forums/showthread (dot) php?t=144487

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