First Manned Lunar Landing Mission
| Date of Milestone:
July 16-24, 1969
Apollo 11 Command Module "Columbia"
Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins
| Aircraft Location:
Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Milestones
of Flight Gallery
The Apollo 11 Command Module "Columbia" carried
astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins
on their historic voyage to the Moon and back on July 16-24, 1969.
This mission culminated in the first human steps on another world.
The Apollo 11 spacecraft had three parts: the
Command Module, the Service Module, and the Lunar Module "Eagle".
While astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the Moon in "Eagle",
Michael Collins remained alone in "Columbia". For 28 hours he served
as a communications link and photographed the lunar surface. After
reclaiming Armstrong and Aldrin from the ascent stage of the Lunar
Module, "Columbia" was the only part of the spacecraft to return
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The blunt-end design for the Command Module
was chosen to build upon experience gained with the similarly shaped
Mercury and Gemini spacecraft. The spacecraft reentered the atmosphere
with its protective heat shield facing forward. Layers of special
"ablative" material on the shield were purposely allowed to burn
away during reentry to help dissipate the extremely high temperatures
caused by atmospheric friction.
||3.2 m (10 ft 7 in)
||3.9 m (12 ft 10 in)
||5,900 kg (13,000 lb)
||North American Rockwell for NASA
Apollo 11 Command Module "Columbia" - Curator's
Apollo 11 Command
Module "Columbia" - Collections Database
The Apollo Program -Information and images from the Apollo missions.