Washington: Today, 20 July 2009, marks the 40th anniversary of the historic first moon walk when the American Apollo 11 mission became the first to land on the moon. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," said astronaut Neil Armstrong as he stepped down from the lunar lander onto what was named as the moon's Sea of Tranquillity, as an estimated 500 million people on Earth crowded round televisions and radios.
The crew became the first to accomplish the dream of man to visit the surface of the moon.
|In this 20, July 1969 file photo, Astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. poses for a photograph beside the U.S. flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. (Photo: NASA)|
Launched on 16 July 1969, it carried mission commander Neil Alden Armstrong, command module pilot Michael Collins, and lunar module pilot Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr.
On 20 July Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon, while Collins orbited above.
Each crewmember of Apollo 11 had made a spaceflight before this mission, making it the second all-veteran crew in manned spaceflight history.
The Apollo 11 mission was the fifth human spaceflight of Project Apollo and the third human voyage to the Moon.