What Was the Apollo Landing?

Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov

The Apollo landing is when two astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, from the USA's space program (NASA), set foot on the Moon. They were the first people in history to do so. The Apollo landing occurred 20 July 1969. Armstrong and Aldrin were carrying out the Apollo 11 mission, the objective of which was to deliver two men to the Moon's surface and bring them back to Earth safely. The Apollo series of missions were first set in motion when United States President John F. Kennedy made a 1961 speech in which he made the goal of landing a man on the Moon by the end of the decade.

US astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission.
US astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

The Apollo landing is commonly seen as one of the greatest achievements in human history. Ever since the first intelligent hominid looked up at the Moon, our ancestors have fantasized of it as a travel destination, but only in 1969 did someone finally set foot on that silver disc in the sky. Over the next three and a half years, NASA landed six more manned spacecraft on the Moon and returned their occupants to Earth safely.

Support for what would become the Apollo missions was increased when United States President John F. Kennedy made a 1961 speech in which he made the goal of landing a man on the Moon by the end of the decade a national priority.
Support for what would become the Apollo missions was increased when United States President John F. Kennedy made a 1961 speech in which he made the goal of landing a man on the Moon by the end of the decade a national priority.

The Apollo program cost the United States $24 billion USD, the most ever spent by any nation for a project during peacetime. At its peak, Apollo program employed 400,000 Americans and was supported by over 20,000 industrial firms and universities. Founded in 1961, it took only eight years to achieve its ambitious goal and continued operating until 1975. The immense burst of technological progress required to achieve the Apollo landing remains unparalleled to this day.

Neil Armstrong, who commanded Apollo 11 was the first astronaut to step foot on the moon.
Neil Armstrong, who commanded Apollo 11 was the first astronaut to step foot on the moon.

Neil Armstrong was the first of the astronauts to set foot on the Moon. The event was on televised internationally and watched by over half a billion people, the single most-watched event in TV history. In a historic quote, upon stepping down onto the lunar surface, Armstrong said: "That's a small step for a man, one giant leap for Mankind." Shortly afterwards, Aldrin uttered: "Beautiful. Beautiful. Magnificent desolation." During the whole duration of the Apollo landing, they spent sixteen hours on the Moon, but only two and a half taking pictures outside.

The Apollo crew spent only two and half hours taking pictures outside.
The Apollo crew spent only two and half hours taking pictures outside.
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov

Michael is a longtime wiseGEEK contributor who specializes in topics relating to paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism. In addition to being an avid blogger, Michael is particularly passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. He has also worked for the Methuselah Foundation, the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and the Lifeboat Foundation.

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Discussion Comments

anon13697

can we settle down on mars? what are the possibilities?

anon13659

Michael Collins was the command module pilot.

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