Today, at 10:56 p.m. EDT 50 years ago, Apollo 11 took that one giant leap – making history for all of mankind. 🌔👨🚀 On the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, we salute the heroes, visionaries and explorers who made the seemingly impossible, possible.
As we build off our Apollo program, looking forward to our future Artemis mission, we cannot wait to see what 2024 has in store!
Image Credit: NASA
"What a spectacular view!" — Neil Armstrong
"God, look at that Moon!" — Michael Collins
On July 19, 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft entered lunar orbit. It was the fourth day of the mission and just one day before Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the surface in the lunar module, Eagle, and took the first steps on the Moon. This close-up photograph of the lunar surface taken by the Apollo 11 astronauts shows the large crater Theophilus located at the northwest edge of Mare Nectaris on the lunar nearside. Theophilus is about 60 statute miles in diameter.
Image Credit: NASA
The Apollo 50th anniversary celebrations are no longer just a tale of the past, we are preparing to send humans to the Moon again in the next 5 years with our Artemis program. This time, we won’t go alone, and the Moon is no longer the final destination. We will make the journey with government, industry, and international partners in a global effort to build and test the systems needed for sending astronauts on challenging missions to Mars and beyond.
The Apollo 11 crewmembers were welcomed home as the only Earthlings who had touched another land as they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969. After greeting their families and President Richard Nixon from their quarantine unit, they were paraded through the streets of Houston, and their souvenirs of more than 47 pounds of moon rocks were prepared for further research.
Not even seven years after President John F. Kennedy’s directive to go to the Moon, the Saturn V rocket was rolled out for the momentous journey and spectators gathered on nearby beaches to watch the Apollo 11 launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969.
This #ThrowbackThursday, we celebrate how our Apollo program captured the world’s attention and demonstrated the power of America’s vision and technology. This week, we are marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing which accomplished the national objective of landing humans on the Moon and returning them safely to Earth.
Your strongest memory of Apollo 11? "Looking back at Earth from a great distance." — Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins.
Collins, the command module pilot, remained aboard the spacecraft in orbit around the Moon, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended in the lunar module "Eagle" to the surface on July 20, 1969.
This historic Apollo 11 image was taken by the astronauts from lunar orbit. It's featured in the @ngadc "A Century of Lunar Photographs" exhibit, part of celebrations nationwide this week in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mary and Dan Solomon
Galactic cherry blossoms are in peak bloom! 🌸
This scrambled galaxy as seen by @nasahubble resembles a flowering cherry blossom tree. The bright regions are actually stellar nurseries, where new stars are blooming. Some pockets of gas rotate in the opposite direction to the rest of the galaxy, suggesting that there has been a close encounter with another galaxy in the past.
Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, R. Jansen