On July 16, 1969, at the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex, Mission Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Aldrin took off on a manned lunar landing mission. The plan was to travel to the moon, 238,900 miles away and land two men on the lunar surface, then return to Earth safely. The eagle set off from the Kennedy Space Center July 16 08:32:00 am, then 102 hours, 45 minutes, and 40 seconds after launch, the Eagle spacecraft landed in the Sea of Tranquility on the surface of the moon. Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the moon's surface. The whole mission took eight days, three hours, 18 min and 35 seconds. After traveling a total of 935,054 miles, they safely splashed down in the pacific ocean. this was the first mission to successfully make to the moon and back. As Neil Armstrong said "That' s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
John F. Kennedy's Space Program Speech
Other World Events
The United States was not the only country going to space. In January, 1969 the Russians had landed a spaceship on Venus, they also had transferred astronauts from one spacecraft to another while in space. Neither of these accomplishments had ever been done before. Many countries were discovering new ways of technology at the time and trying to find ways to get to the moon. The United States was one of them. We were competing against other countries in hopes to be the first to put man on the moon. We were closely observing the moon and trying to gather precise data to help us reach our goal. Our nation and scientists anxiously awaited the day that Neil Armstrong would be the first on the moon.
John F. Kennedy's speech inspired our nation to be greater. He wanted to restore our confidence and set an incredible goal. He said "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth." He stated that the United States will be the leaders of space science, and we will be the first to have a man on the moon.