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Back in the day : Neil Armstrong walks on the Moon

Back in the Day

Back in the day : Neil Armstrong walks on the Moon


July 21, 1969. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon and Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. With Aldrin, they stayed approximately two and a half hours on the surface of the satellite, where they collected 21.5 kg of lunar material, before returning to the spacecraft which took them back to Earth. Michael Collins, a third member of the mission, piloted the command spacecraft alone in lunar orbit until the two astronauts returned. Apollo 11, the spaceflight which took the astronauts to the Moon, was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It is reported that Armstrong said “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind,” although it is still unsure if he said the word “a” when he stepped on the Moon. The event was broadcast on live TV to a world-wide audience. This mission ended the Space Race between the United States and the USSR and fulfilled a national goal proposed by President John F. Kennedy who, in 1961, said “before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

Also on July 21: Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar and co-ruler (285); Inauguration of Leopold I of Belgium, first king of the Belgians (1831); Louis Rigolly becomes the first man to break the 161 km/h barrier on land (1904); High school biology teacher John T. Scopes is found guilty of teaching evolution in class and fined $100 in Tennessee (1925); The United States Senate ratifies the North Atlantic Treaty (1949); The Provisional IRA detonate 22 bombs in central Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom killing 9 and injuring 130 (1972); Start of the four day long Libyan–Egyptian War (1977) ; NASA’s Space Shuttle program ends with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135 (2011)

Born on July 21: Jean Picard (1620), Ernest Hemingway (1899), Janet Reno (1938), Edward Herrmann (1943), Cat Stevens (1948), Robin Williams (1951), Charlotte Gainsbourg (1971), Josh Hartnett (1978)

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