Mission to the moon’s 50th anniversary

Published On July 16, 2019 | By Brendan Pietrobon | News

The Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 11 on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center on July 1, 1969. (REUTERS/NASA)

Brendan Pietrobon

It has been 50 years since the “giant leap for mankind” landed Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on the moon.

The Apollo 11 mission, which included astronaut Michael Collins, took off from Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral, Fl., at 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969.

Approximately one million people traveled to Florida to watch the launch live. Another 500 million around the world watched on television.

Flight path of the Apollo 11 mission from July 16-24, 1969. (Smithsonian/NASA)

NASA is commemorating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 with features throughout the week, including new exhibitions at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.

An airing of the original launch footage was shown at 9:32 a.m. on July 16 near the the pad where the launch took place.

After launch, the Apollo 11 mission traveled for about 76 hours before entering a stable lunar orbit.

On July 20, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin exited Eagle, the lunar landing module, and became the first humans to walk on the moon. A total of 12 American astronauts walked on the moon during the Apollo space program, last two in 1972. The U.S. has pledged to return to the moon by 2024.

The crew returned to earth on July 24, 1969. They were rescued from the Pacific by the USS Hornet and put into medical quarantine.

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