On July 20, 1969, a human walked on the Moon for the first time.

Relive the full journey to and from the the Moon with the timeline below.

Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon B. Johnson view the liftoff of Apollo 11 from pad 39A.

July 16, 1969
13:32:00 UTC (Universal Coordinated Time)
9:32 am ET (Eastern Time)

Liftoff! The Apollo 11 Spacecraft launched from Cape Kennedy.

Over a million spectators, including Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon Johnson, have come to watch the lift off. 

Traveling to the Moon

From launch to landing, Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins were on a three day journey to the moon. One thing that was not widely publicized during the Apollo program was that the astronauts carried music with them into space. According to most accounts, the astronauts of Gemini and Apollo listened mainly to adult contemporary and country music. 

Neil Armstrong’s musical tastes were a bit more complex than his colleagues. He chose to bring something spacey onboard his space capsule: Theremin music. 

What's on an astronaut's mixtape?
The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle, in a landing configuration, was photographed in lunar orbit from the Command and Service Module Columbia. 

July 20, 1969
17:44 UTC
1:44 pm ET

The lunar module with Armstrong and Aldrin aboard was undocked from the command module. At 101:36 GET, the descent to the surface of the moon began.

Michael Collins stayed aboard the Command Module Columbia, serving as a communications link and photographing the lunar surface.

More about Collins's journey to the far side of the Moon

July 20, 1969
20:17 UTC
4:17 pm ET

The Eagle Has Landed!

The lunar module touched down on the surface on the moon.

Millions tuned in to watch live
One of the first steps taken on the Moon, this is an image of Buzz Aldrin's bootprint from the Apollo 11 mission. 

July 20, 1969
2:51 UTC
10:51 pm ET

Neil Armstrong begins his descent from the lunar module and takes humankind’s first steps on the moon, followed by Buzz Aldrin. 

July 20, 1969
2:56 UTC
10:56 pm ET

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

About Armstrong's Famous Words

On the moon, the astronauts carried out a planned series of experiments. Approximately two hours and fifteen minutes later, the astronauts prepared to reenter the lunar module. 

About the Experiments

The Apollo 11 Lunar Module ascent stage, with Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. aboard, is photographed from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) during rendezvous in lunar orbit. 

July 21, 1969
17:54 UTC
1:54 pm ET

The ascent from the lunar surface began. At 21:35 UTC (5:35 pm ET) lunar module would rendezvous with the command and service modules, where Michael Collins would welcome back Aldrin and Armstrong. At 23:41 UTC (9:41 pm ET) Lunar Module Eagle was jettisoned into lunar orbit. 

What We Left Behind

July 22, 1969
4:55 UTC
11:55 pm ET

Apollo 11 left lunar orbit to return to Earth.

July 24, 1969
4:51 UTC
12:51 pm ET


The astronauts returned to Earth. In case the Moon had any traces of biological pathogens, the astronauts had to stay in quarantine for 21 days. 

About the Astronauts' Return
Returning from the first lunar landing mission, the Apollo 11 astronauts received a tumultuous welcome from New Yorkers, who dropped a record tonnage of paper during a ticker-tape parade traditionally accorded returning heroes.

After 21 Days in Quarantine

The United States celebrated the returning heroes in the time-honored tradition reserved for such occasions: parades. The astronauts were lauded at parades across the nation, from New York, to Chicago, to their hometowns, and eventually partook in a world tour.

More About Welcoming the Astronauts Home

The Family That Knocked on Neil Armstrong's Door