"Forward . . . Forward. . . .40 feet down, 2 and a half. . . .picking up some dust . . . "
Today marks of one of the pinnacles of human achievement: fifty years ago, Apollo 11 Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Collins were the first humans to land on the surface of the moon.
Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed. . . "
A little more than six hours after touchdown, Neil Armstrong stepped from the lunar lander and onto the moon’s surface. His footprint remains in the dust there to this day.
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
The flight of Apollo 11 was met with a jubilant reaction around the globe. Everyone shared in the success of the astronauts. The front pages of newspapers the world over reflected the strong enthusiasm. Police reports noted that streets in many cities were eerily quiet during the Moon walk as residents watched television coverage in homes, bars, and other public places.
“For one priceless moment in the whole history of man, all the people on this Earth are truly one," then-President Richard Nixon radioed the moonwalkers from the Oval Office."One in their pride in what you have done, and one in our prayers that you will return safely to Earth."
Over the next three and a half years, five more missions would achieve a lunar landing, and ten more Astronauts would walk on the moon. But none came close to capturing the world’s imagination as did that first landing on July 20, 1969.
In the words of Glynn Lunney, the flight director on duty for Apollo 11's climb back to lunar orbit, "For all the millennia that humans have walked on this planet and looked up at the moon and looked up at the stars, this was the first time when two of us walked and worked and lived on another planet.
"And in the big sweep of history yet to come, we may look back on this not as a technological achievement, we may end up looking back and seeing that it was the beginning of a new stage for mankind as we know it."