Still, one of the most historic days ever to take place; it was a mission no one had expected would ever happen. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is considered responsible for the success of this mission. NASA is an independent agency working under the interest of the USA federal government with regards to aeronautics and research of aerospace. Years of research, practices, and missions were performed by NASA to be able to achieve this milestone.
It all began during the 20th century, a cold war being fought between the USA and the USSR called the Space Race. The race began in the year 1955 when the USA announced that a satellite would be launched which will orbit the Earth. USSR responded a few days later that they would also launch a satellite. Eventually, USSR beat the USA in sending the first satellite on October 4, 1957, and sending the first person, Yuri Gagarin, on April 12, 1961, in space.
On May 25, 1961, President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy set a national goal; “before this decade is out, perform a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth.” This goal was achieved by a crew of three men Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” E. Aldrin, Jr. The mission was called Apollo 11, and on July 21st, 1969 Commander Neil Armstrong and Pilot Buzz Aldrin became the first two men to set foot on the moon. After the USA completed the mission, the USSR made several failed attempts at launching crewed lunar missions but eventually canceled them and kept their focus on Earth orbital space stations.
Being the 5th human-crewed mission by NASA’s Apollo program, on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 spaceship was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center, situated in, Merrit Island Florida. After being launched into outer space, the astronauts traveled in the spacecraft for three days until they entered the lunar orbit. After that Armstrong and Aldrin then used the lunar module Eagle to land on to the surface of the moon. Both of them stayed on the surface of the moon for about 21.5 hours after which they lifted and rejoined Collins in the lunar module to head back to Earth. On July 24th, 1969, they returned back to Earth landing in the Pacific Ocean. The landing of the ship was broadcasted live on national TV to the whole world.
Apollo 11 was the mission which basically put a halt to the Space Race, even though the Space Race came to an end in the year 1991 after the end of the Soviet Union. Now NASA has been planning a crewed mission to Mars. Many ships have landed Mar’s surface over the years, but none have been sent with humans aboard. We will just have to wait and see when they eventually make the impossible happen once again in the coming years.