America Made History 50 Years Ago: Apollo 11 Moon Landing

On July 20, 1969, the astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on another world, famously marking the moment with the phrase: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” After months of preparation, preceded by years of development and testing, the crew of NASA’s Apollo 11 lifted off from Florida on July 16, arriving at the moon on July 19. While Command Module Pilot Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit, Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin descended to the surface and spent two and a half hours on the moon, setting up experiments, taking photos, and gathering samples. After their safe return home, the crew were celebrated by politicians and the public as they embarked on a 45-day goodwill tour, visiting a total of 27 cities in 24 countries. 

Below, 50 photos of the historic Apollo 11 mission, on the 50th anniversary of that giant leap.