43 years ago today, Neil Armstrong spoke the now-infamous words, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” while taking his first step onto the dusty surface of the moon.
As a celebration of the historic event, news sites are recalling pictures and newspaper articles about the lunar landing, which more than 500 million people watched on television.
The Huffington Post reports that the Saturn V rocked, which carried the Apollo 11 crew, blasted off 109 hours before landing, and the pair spent a mere 21 hours on the moon, before returning to the Columbia module orbiting the moon, in order to make the journey back to Earth.
They, along with almost 50 pounds of geological samples and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, safely re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on July 24th, 1969, and splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean. Their trip was the realization of a goal that President John F. Kennedy set eight years before in his speech to Congress:
“First, 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. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”
The Washington Post also took the time to celebrate the historic landing, noting that the Apollo 11 mission still remains “one of the great innovative triumphs of the modern age.” They also posted a picture of the Post’s section A coverage of the moon landing, commenting that, “The Washington Post’s entire A section was dedicated to the landing, featuring both photographs and five separate pieces on the landing.”
Do you feel like the moon landing is no big deal now that NASA is setting its sights on Mars, or will the moment remain magical, no matter how many years have passed?
Check out more footage below of the history-making moon landing, as well as Neil Armstrong and Buss Aldrin’s walk on the moon: