Apollo 11

Apollo 11 (July 16–24, 1969) was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin formed the American crew that landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC. Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface six hours and 39 minutes later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC; Aldrin joined him 19 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 to bring back to Earth. Command module pilot Michael Collins flew the Command Module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon's surface. Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the lunar surface, at a site they had named Tranquility Base upon landing, before lifting off to rejoin Columbia in lunar orbit.

Apollo 11
Buzz Aldrin on the Moon as photographed by Neil Armstrong (Armstrong seen in the visor reflection along with Earth,[1] the Lunar Module Eagle, and the U.S. flag)
Mission typeCrewed lunar landing (G)
OperatorNASA
COSPAR ID
  • CSM: 1969-059A
  • LM: 1969-059C
SATCAT no.
Mission duration8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft
Manufacturer
Launch mass100,756 pounds (45,702 kg)
Landing mass10,873 pounds (4,932 kg)
Crew
Crew size3
Members
Callsign
Start of mission
Launch dateJuly 16, 1969, 13:32:00 (1969-07-16UTC13:32Z) UTC[4]
RocketSaturn V SA-506
Launch siteKennedy Space Center LC-39A
End of mission
Recovered byUSS Hornet
Landing dateJuly 24, 1969, 16:50:35 (1969-07-24UTC16:50:36Z) UTC
Landing site
  • North Pacific Ocean
  • 13°19′N 169°9′W
Orbital parameters
Reference systemSelenocentric
Periselene altitude100.9 kilometers (54.5 nmi)[5]
Aposelene altitude122.4 kilometers (66.1 nmi)[5]
Inclination1.25 degrees[5]
Period2 hours[5]
EpochJuly 19, 1969, 21:44 UTC[5]
Lunar orbiter
Spacecraft componentCommand and service module
Orbital insertionJuly 19, 1969, 17:21:50 UTC[6]
Orbital departureJuly 22, 1969, 04:55:42 UTC[7]
Orbits30
Lunar lander
Spacecraft componentApollo Lunar Module
Landing dateJuly 20, 1969, 20:17:40 UTC[8]
Return launchJuly 21, 1969, 17:54:00 UTC[9]
Landing site
Sample mass21.55 kilograms (47.51 lb)
Surface EVAs1
EVA duration2 hours, 31 minutes, 40 seconds
Docking with LM
Docking dateJuly 16, 1969, 16:56:03 UTC[6]
Undocking dateJuly 20, 1969, 17:44:00 UTC[11]
Docking with LM ascent stage
Docking dateJuly 21, 1969, 21:35:00 UTC[7]
Undocking dateJuly 21, 1969, 23:41:31 UTC[7]

Left to right: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin 

Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16 at 13:32 UTC, and it was the fifth crewed mission of NASA's Apollo program. The Apollo spacecraft had three parts: a command module (CM) with a cabin for the three astronauts, the only part that returned to 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 descent stage for landing on the Moon and an ascent stage to place the astronauts back into lunar orbit.

After being sent to the Moon by the Saturn V's third stage, the astronauts separated the spacecraft from it and traveled for three days until they entered lunar orbit. Armstrong and Aldrin then moved into Eagle and landed in the Sea of Tranquility on July 20. The astronauts used Eagle's ascent stage to lift off from the lunar surface and rejoin Collins in the command module. They jettisoned Eagle before they performed the maneuvers that propelled Columbia out of the last of its 30 lunar orbits onto a trajectory back to Earth.[7] They returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24 after more than eight days in space.

Armstrong's first step onto the lunar surface was broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience. He described the event as "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."[lower-alpha 1][13] Apollo 11 effectively proved US victory in the Space Race to demonstrate spaceflight superiority, by fulfilling a national goal proposed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, "before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."[14]