On this day, July 20, 1969, the American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk/step foot onto the moon 46 years ago today.
The brief history of Nation Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) begins with the effort to send an American to moon started with our President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961, when he spoke to congress saying, “I believe 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 Earth.”
In 1963, Kennedy was assassinated and by 1966, NASA than conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission. This mission was to test the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and the spacecraft.
In 1967, NASA attempted the first manned training exercise of the Apollo 1 spacecraft and the Saturn rocket when there was an unexpected fire on Cape Canaveral, Florida during the exercise.
It was during this failed test of the Apollo 1 that the three astronauts crew members, Edward H. White II, Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, and Roger B. Chaffee died due to the tragic fire.
By October 1968, Apollo 7 made an attempt to overcome the setback of the fire and became the first manned mission that orbited the Earth and made a successful test.
In December 1968, Apollo 8 took three astronauts to the dark side of the moon and back down to earth.
In March 1969, Apollo 9 successfully tested the lunar module for the first time while in the Earth’s orbit.
In May 1969, Apollo 10 took the first completed Apollo spacecraft around the moon for a test run in prep of the July mission.
It started on July 16, 1969, when Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center carrying the three astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. and Michael Collins.
These are the three astronauts that made history. when they traveled 240,000 miles in 76 hours to make a successful mission to the moon.
On July 19th the Apollo spacecraft entered the lunar orbit and by July 20th, the lunar module named “Eagle” had headed towards the moon when it separated from command module.
It was 4:18 p.m. when Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made it to the moon and radioed to Houston’s control tower with, “The Eagle has landed.”
At 10:56 p.m. EDT Armstrong said those historic words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as he stepped off the lunar landing module “Eagle”while planting one foot onto the moon.
After the two astronauts stepped foot on the moon, they planted a U.S. flag and did their job with taking scientific tests and spoke to U.S. President Richard Nixon. The left a plaque on the moon that reads, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon- July 1969 A.D.- We came in peace for all mankind.”
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