On This Day: Apollo 11 Moon And Viking 1 Mars Landing Make History

It’s July 20 and on this day, the Apollo 11 moon landing and Viking 1 Mars landing made history. In fact, the tremendous breakthroughs in space exploration have led to July 20 being declared as Moon Day and Space Exploration Day. It was on this day in 1969 that the Apollo 11 mission was a success, and a man stepped onto the moon’s lunar surface for the first time. This is why July 20 is Moon Day.

Seven years later, to the day, the Viking 1 robot landed on Mars’ surface. The date was July 20, 1976, and thus marked the launch of Space Exploration Day. There may be no other day in U.S. history that is as important as July 20 has been. The Apollo 11 crew consisted of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. Click the link for a full list of those involved in the mission. It was Neil Armstrong who stated the following quote when he stepped on the moon. Neil Armstrong passed away on Aug. 25, 2012. Apollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin are still alive.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

History buffs might remember the CBS journalist Walter Cronkite. Cronkite covered the July 20, 1969, Apoll0 11 moon landing, and CBS released the footage. You may watch the moon landing as millions watched it live streaming in 1969 in the video below.

The Apollo 11 mission was 47 years ago, and social media networks have been abuzz with excitement regarding the memorable, historical events that took place, as well as the future of space exploration, travel, and where humanity will go in the future.

As people remember the Apollo 11 mission and Neil Armstrong’s steps on the moon, people are celebrating National Moon Day by sharing photos of the moon. July 19, 2016, was the full Buck moon, and people are sharing photos of the full moon as they celebrate National Moon Day.

While the moon gets plenty of attention on July 20, it’s also time to remember the Viking 1 landing on Mars and celebrate the future of space exploration. July 20 is a great time to bring children to museums that feature space exploration exhibits. It’s also a good time to reflect upon the origins of the Viking 1 and Viking 2 missions and how far NASA has come in the past 40 years of exploring Mars, other planets, and the galaxies beyond the Milky Way.

The Viking 1 and Viking 2 missions took place from 1975-1980. They were the first missions that consisted of orbiters and landing gear was able to orbit Mars, then land on the surface to take the first photographs of the red planet. You can learn about both Viking missions at the official Viking website.

You may also watch the original ABC broadcast announcing the first photos taken from Mars, along with an interview with Carl Sagan.

Are you going to celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landing and Viking 1 Mars landing today?

[Photo by Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock]