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Apollo 11 was an American spaceflight in which the astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first ever to land on the Moon on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Further, Neil Armstrong became the first to step onto the Moon 6 hours after the landing on 21 July, 02:56 UTC. A third member of the mission, Michael Collins, was waiting to pick them up in an orbit around the Moon. They all returned to Earth safely after travelling in space for 8 days.

Launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida on July 16, Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission of NASA's Apollo program. Two of these had flown around the Moon and one had prepared the Moon landing manoeuvres in orbit around the Earth. The spacecraft that was launched by the rocket had three parts: a Command Module with the three astronauts and their supplies in it, a Service Module with fuel and engines for changing course and a Lunar landing Module. After being brought onto a course to the Moon by the launch rocket, they separated the spacecraft from it and travelled for three days until they entered into an orbit around the Moon. Here Armstrong and Aldrin moved to the Lunar Module and landed it on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility, a part of the Moon facing the Earth. The two astronauts stayed a total of about 21½ hours on the lunar surface, including about 2½ hours outside the spacecraft. After lifting off in the upper part of the Lunar Module and rejoining Collins in the Command Module, they returned to Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.

Stepping down on the Moon, Armstrong described the event: "One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" which was heard by people world-wide as the landing was broadcasted on live TV. Apollo 11 effectively ended the Space Race and fulfilled late U.S. President John F. Kennedy's goal of reaching the Moon by the end of the 1960s, which he had expressed during a 1961 mission statement before the United States Congress: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."


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