On the 20th of July 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (1930), became the first two humans to land on the moon. Their success took place before Americans had even orbited the Earth.
The Apollo 11 spacecraft was launched on the 16th of July, eight years after President John F. Kennedy announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon. After piloting the Moon Lander ‘The Eagle’ to a safe landing, Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. He delivered the most famous one-liner in history: “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind”. The two astronauts researched the area, collected soil and rock samples, set up experiments, and raised the American flag. The crew flew back to earth after 21.5 hours on the moon, leaving behind medallions honoring the Apollo 1 crew (who all died during a launch rehearsal test), and a plaque saying “We came in peace for all mankind”. Their re-entry capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July the 24th. The whole mission lasted 195 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds.
Five more Apollo missions took place after Apollo 11. The last manned moon mission, Apollo 17, took place in 1972. In total 12 astronauts walked on the moon during the Apollo program. To celebrate Apollo 11's 50th Anniversary, we’ve curated the best Apollo moon landing images for you to download for free under the Creative Commons 0 license.