Over half a century ago, on July 20, 1969, humans walked on the Moon for the first time. We look back at the legacy of our first small steps on the Moon and look forward to the next giant leap.
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Eight years later, a Saturn V rocket carrying the three Apollo 11 astronauts blasted off from Cape Kennedy. Over a million spectators, including Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon Johnson, came to watch the lift off.
After approximately two and half hours on the Moon, Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the lunar module to begin the journey home. The three astronauts splashed down in Hawaii on July 24, 1969. From there they quarantined for three weeks as a precaution against bringing contagion back from the Moon, before the festivities welcoming them home commenced.More about Quarantine
The Sea of Tranquility | Mare Tranquillitatis
00.67408° N latitude, 23.47297° E longitude
For the first lunar landing, the Sea of Tranquility (Mare Tranquilitatis) was the site chosen because it is a relatively smooth and level area. It does, however, have some craters and in the last minutes before landing, Neil Armstrong had to manually pilot the lunar module to avoid a sharp-rimmed ray crater measuring some 180 meters across and 30 meters deep known as West. The lunar module landed safely some 6 km from the originally intended landing site, approximately 400 meters west of West crater and 20km south-southwest of the crater Sabine D in the southwestern part of Mare Tranquilitatis. The lunar surface at the landing site consisted of fragmental debris ranging in size from fine particles to blocks about 0.8 meter wide.
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