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 first spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon. Mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module Eagle 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 02:56:15 UTC; Aldrin joined him about 20 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft, and collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth. Michael Collins piloted the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon's surface. Armstrong and Aldrin spent just under a day on the lunar surface before rendezvousing with Columbia in lunar orbit.
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) that had two stages – a lower stage for landing on the Moon, and an upper stage to place the astronauts back into lunar orbit. 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 Eagle and landed in the Sea of Tranquility. They stayed a total of about 21.5 hours on the lunar surface. The astronauts used Eagle's upper stage to lift off from the lunar surface and rejoin Collins in the command module. They jettisoned Eagle before they performed the maneuvers that blasted them out of lunar orbit on a trajectory back to Earth. They returned to Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.
Broadcast on live TV to a worldwide 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 U.S. President John F. Kennedy: "before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."