Apollo 11
Launch Date
July 16, 1969
Craft
Apollo
Status
Past
Crew
3
Apollo 11
Launch Date
July 16, 1969
Craft
Apollo
Status
Past
Crew
3
Overview
"One giant leap..." Eight years and two months after President John F. Kennedy challenged NASA to land a person on the Moon and return him safely to Earth, Apollo 11 launched to fulfill that goal. An estimated 1 million people crammed into Titusville and Cape Canaveral to watch the launch in person while 25 million people in the U.S. and millions more around the world watched on TV or listened to the launch on the radio. The Apollo 11 launch was televised in 33 countries. Four days later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin undocking the Eagle lunar lander from the Columbia Command Module and began their descent to the lunar surface. At 20:17:40 UTC on July 20th, 1969, approximately 650 million people, one-fifth of the world population, watched the worldwide, live broadcast as Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon. The event was the most watched TV broadcast at the time and still stands as one of the most watched broadcasts in history. Armstrong and Aldrin privately decided to name the landing site Tranquillity Base given its location inside the Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquillity). They did not inform NASA beforehand. The International Astronomical Union, which oversees the naming of places on celestial objects other than Earth, officially recognizes Tranquillity Base as the name of the Apollo 11 landing site. After touchdown, Armstrong became the first person to set foot on another world. After a safe return to Earth, screens in Mission Control played President Kennedy's challenge, followed by the words "TASK ACCOMPLISHED." The U.S. had won the Space Race.
Crafts
Apollo
The main Apollo spacecraft was a Command and Service Module designed to take three astronauts to and from the Moon’s orbit and provide access to the lunar lander during missions. After the Moon program ended, Apollo spacecraft flew three crews to the Skylab space station and performed the historic joint U.S.-Soviet mission in 1975.