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Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing

Aldrin photographed by Armstrong on the Moon's surfaceOn 20th July 2019, the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing. On that day in 1969, US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, landed the Apollo 11 lunar module on the Moon's surface. Armstrong became the first person to step on to the lunar surface six hours later. Aldrin joined him 19 minutes after that. They were in the region of the Moon called the Sea of Tranquility. Together, the astronauts spent about two and a quarter hours outside the spacecraft, collecting rock samples and setting up experiments. While they did so, a third astronaut, Michael Collins, flew the command module alone in lunar orbit. The lunar module spent 21.5 hours on the surface of the Moon before rejoining the command module in lunar orbit and setting off for home.

Saturn V lifts off on 16th July 1969

Apollo 11

Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center on 16th July 1969. The spacecraft had three parts: a command module (CM, named Columbia); a service module (SM), which provided propulsion, electrical power, oxygen and water; and a lunar module (LM, named Eagle) with two stages—a descent stage for landing on the Moon, and an ascent stage to send the astronauts back into lunar orbit.

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