Spotlight

One Giant Leap for Mankind

The nation and the world are celebrating the 50th anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon. Military ties abound in the effort that led to Apollo 11’s successful mission and for the astronauts who made it happen.

 

Stories

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Feature

Air Force Service Prepared Aldrin for Apollo 11 Moon Landing

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Apollo 11 Astronaut Was Also an Air Force General

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Army Astronaut to Celebrate First Moon Landing With Space Launch

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Photos

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Primary Objective

Footprints on Moon icon

Complete a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961:
perform a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth.

Additional Objectives

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Scientific exploration by the Lunar Module.

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Deployment of a television camera to transmit signals to Earth.

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Deployment of a solar wind composition experiment, seismic experiment package and a Laser Ranging Retroreflector.

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Gather samples of lunar-surface materials for return to Earth.

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Extensively photograph the lunar terrain, the deployed scientific equipment, the Lunar Module spacecraft, and each other, both with still and motion picture cameras.

Timeline

May 25, 1961

President John F. Kennedy sets goal for a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth.

July 16, 1969

Apollo 11 launches from Cape Kennedy.

July 18, 1969

In third televised event, Armstrong and Aldrin climb through docking tunnel from Columbia to Eagle; check out Lunar Module.

July 19, 1969

First lunar orbit insertion maneuver after Apollo 11 flew behind the moon out of contact with Earth.

July 20, 1969

Armstrong steps onto the moon, just under 110 hours after launch. Aldrin follows 20 minutes later.

About 650 million people watched Armstrong's televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took "...one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."