The Apollo Program was initiated in 1963 and was completed in 1972. The purpose of this program was to place a man on the moon, explore the surface of the moon, and develop the ability for man to work in the lunar environment (Loff, P.1). There were seventeen Apollo missions in total, however, only six of the seventeen placed man on the moon.
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Apollo 11 was the first of these missions to accomplish the goal of placing a man on the moon. (National Air and Space Museum) It was a televised event that the world will probably never forget. From the first footstep made by Neil Armstrong to the American flag that was proudly placed on the moon’s surface; the astronauts of the lunar module Eagle, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins changed history as we knew it on July 20, 1969.
On July 16, 1969, the world watched as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) loaded three astronauts aboard the lunar module Eagle that sat on a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Once launched, the lunar module Eagle raced into space where it made one and a half orbits before getting the ok to head towards the moon. The Apollo 11 mission began and in only four short days the goal of the Apollo mission would come to fruition. Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to step onto the moon’s surface, joined NASA in 1962 where he was command pilot on the Gemini VIII mission and later would become the spacecraft commander for Apollo 11. He was an educated man who studied aeronautical engineering at Purdue University on a United States Navy scholarship. Neil served in the Korean War as a pilot who flew combat missions. After joining NASA, Mr. Armstrong served as a test pilot to aircraft that could reach top speeds of four thousand miles per hour, he also served as an engineer (Biography.com, P.2).
When Neil Armstrong stepped on to the moon’s surface, the world watched in amazement. America achieved what many thought was impossible. We not only beat Russia to the moon, we were the first to step foot on it and Neil Armstrong’s words That’s one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind was forever embedded in history (Dunbar,
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