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When did people first set foot on the Moon?

Buzz Aldrin stands on the Moon's surface.The first man to fly in a spacecraft and orbit the Earth was Yuri Gagarin. He was a cosmonaut from the Soviet Union (the name of the former union of Russia and its neighbouring states). In 1961, US president John F. Kennedy announced that the United States would land a man on the Moon before the end of the 1960s. The mission was carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A new spacecraft specially designed for the mission, called Apollo, was built. After a series of test flights, Apollo 11 successfully landed two astronauts on the Moon in July 1969.

 


Buzz Aldrin salutes the US flag on the Moon

Apollo 11 emblem

Apollo programme

A series of Apollo missions took place in the 1960s. Different Apollo spacecraft, numbered 1 to 10, carried out orbits of the Earth and the Moon. The first manned flight of Apollo (Apollo 7) took place in 1968. Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to orbit the Moon. Astronauts were carefully trained for the Moon landing. 

The Lunar Module was named Eagle after the national bird of the United States, the bald eagle.

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