New Delhi: On this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong, an American astronaut, became the first person to walk on the moon. To millions of people witnessing history, he proclaimed these unforgettable words on television: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins left Earth on July 16 from Cape Kennedy in Florida. Armstrong and Aldrin stepped onto the moon a few days later.
The men spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the moon before joining back up with Collins in the command module. The mission accomplished the objective set by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, which was to land a man on the moon, then return to Earth. Armstrong spent his first few minutes on the Moon taking photographs and soil samples in case the mission had to be aborted suddenly.
They also unveiled a plaque bearing President Nixon's signature and an inscription reading: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind."
The lunar landing marked a pinnacle of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission and now, 46 years later, it remains a major milestone in American history.
Remembering the special occasion, Buzz Aldrin took to Twitter to share an iconic photo:
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) July 20, 2015