Traveling to the Moon
In the 1960's, the United States of America and Russia lead the way in the first era of human space exploration. On April 12, 1961, Russian Lt. Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit Earth. Just one month later the Americans followed suit, as Alan Shepard became the first American to fly into space.
Less than one month after Shepard became the first American in space, President John F. Kennedy told the United States, "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." After the president's announcement, getting to the moon became NASA's (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) top priority.
The Moon is the only extraterrestrial body that has ever been visited by humans. How much do you know about our neighbor in the solar system?
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first two humans on the Moon. Neil Armstrong was the commander of the mission and became the first person to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. Buzz Aldrin was the pilot and joined Armstrong on the lunar surface of the moon about 20 minutes later. They spent just over two hours together outside the spacecraft, and collected 50 pounds of lunar material to bring back to Earth.
Apollo 11 40th anniversary video
A video edit commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first walk on the moon release on July 15, 2009.