July 20 is Moon Day. This day commemorates Apollo 11's landing on the surface of the moon. This event saw humankind's first step on the surface of another celestial body. Go back to this pivotal day in history by counting down the events that led us there.
Use our interactive timeline to track Apollo 11's history-making journey. Complete with images and videos of the event. From our Ready-Made Space Travel & Technology Digital Lesson Plan.
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Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon Timeline
July 16 - Launch: At 8:32 a.m. EST, Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 11 blasts off from Launch Pad 39A at Cape Kennedy, Florida. The three-man crew — Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr. — begin their trip to the Moon.
July 17 - Color Telecast: At 6:31 p.m. EST, the Apollo 11 crew start their first scheduled color telecast showing the view of Earth from their spacecraft. At a distance of about 128,000 nautical miles (237,056 kilometers), the 36-minute transmission also shows the inside of the Command Module.
July 19 - Lunar Orbit Insertion: At 12:21:50 p.m. EST, Apollo 11 flies behind the Moon and gets captured by the Moon's gravity. A 35-minute telecast of the Moon's surface focuses on the landing site. At this point, the spacecraft orbits the Moon every 2 hours.
July 20 - Lunar Landing: At 3:17:40 p.m. EST, the Lunar Module separates from the Command Module and makes its way to the surface of the Moon. It lands and a message is immediately sent to Mission Control in which Armstrong announces, "The Eagle has landed".
July 20 - First Step: At 9:56:15 p.m. EST, Armstrong moves down the ladder of the Lunar Module. Armstrong puts his left boot on the Moon's surface, announcing, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind".
July 21 - Lunar Lift-Off: At 12:54:01 p.m. EST, the Lunar Module lifts-off from the surface of the Moon and re-connects with the Command Module before starting the return trip to Earth. The crew leaves behind instruments, the American flag, and the descent stage of the Lunar Lander.
July 24 - Splashdown: At 11:50:35 a.m. EST, the Command Module re-enters Earth's atmosphere and splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, 825 nautical miles (1,528 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu.
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