Project Apollo, the United States' manned Moon landing programme, culminated in 1969 with Apollo 11. Mission commander Neil Armstrong's famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", spoken as he stepped onto the lunar surface, were heard by an estimated 600 million television viewers.
Armstrong, his fellow moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, and command module pilot Michael Collins later safely splashed down inside their capsule, fulfilling President John F Kennedy's pledge to land men on the Moon and return them to Earth before the end of the decade.
A further five missions would take other three-man crews to the Moon until Apollo was cancelled in 1972.
Photo: Apollo 11 boot print (NASA)
The United States lands astronauts on the Moon.
Neil Armstrong makes a hair-raising landing on the Moon.
Project Apollo, the United States's manned Moon landing programme, culminated in 1969 with Apollo 11. Mission commander Neil Armstrong's famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", spoken as he stepped onto the lunar surface, were heard by an estimated 600 million television viewers. This clip contains some re-enactment footage.
Meet the men who landed on the Moon.
The crew of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission were Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon and walked on its surface. Collins remained behind in the command module, which orbited the Moon during the landing.
Some say the Apollo programme was a waste of money.
With NASA calling for a return to manned Moon landings, some say the Apollo landings did not achieve much of substance and were a waste of money.
Apollo 16's Charlie Duke tells James May how the Apollo 11 astronauts landed.
James May meets Apollo astronaut Charlie Duke. From mission control in Houston, Duke was in direct communication with the Apollo 11 astronauts inside the landing craft, Eagle. He later walked on the Moon during the Apollo 16 mission.
In 1970 Patrick Moore speaks with the first Moon walker.
In 1970, Sir Patrick Moore interviewed Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong. Moore asked Armstrong about what he saw on the Moon and the possibility of future Moon bases.
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. Armstrong spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, Aldrin slightly less, and together they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth. The third member of the mission, Michael Collins, piloted the command spacecraft alone in lunar orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned to it just under a day later for the trip back to Earth.
Launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16, Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission of NASA's Apollo program. The Apollo spacecraft had three parts: a Command Module (CM) with a cabin for the three astronauts, and the only part that landed back on Earth; a Service Module (SM), which supported the Command Module with propulsion, electrical power, oxygen, and water; and a Lunar Module (LM) for landing on the Moon (which itself was composed of two parts). After being sent toward the Moon by the Saturn V's upper stage, the astronauts separated the spacecraft from it and traveled for three days until they entered into lunar orbit. Armstrong and Aldrin then moved into the Lunar Module and landed in the Sea of Tranquility. They stayed a total of about 21 1⁄2 hours on the lunar surface. After lifting off in the upper part of the Lunar Module and rejoining Collins in the Command Module, they returned to Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.
Broadcast on live TV to a world-wide audience, Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface and described the event as "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Apollo 11 effectively ended the Space Race and fulfilled a national goal proposed in 1961 by the U.S. President John F. Kennedy in a speech before the U.S. Congress: "before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."