A Saturn V liftoff is spectacular, and the launch of Apollo 11 was no exception. But it didn’t give the audience any surprises. To the three Gemini-experienced pilots, who likened the sensation to the boost of a Titan II, it was a normal launch.
Launch of Apollo 11
Former Pres. Johnson & current VP Spiro T. Agnew watch the launch of Apollo 11
On July 16th 1969, nearly a million people crowded the Florida highways, byways, and beaches to watch man’s departure from the earth to walk on the moon. Twenty thousand guests looked on from special vantage points.
Lovell completed four space flights and is one of only three men to travel to the Moon twice. Lovell accrued over 715 hours spent in space, and he saw a total of 269 sunrises from space on his Gemini and Apollo flights.
1966 photo of Jim Lovell posing with Gemini-Titan model
Jim Lovell at the Command Module Guidance and Navigation station during the Apollo 8 mission
Lovell in front of the launch pad before the Apollo 13 mission
On August 10th, 1969 quarantine officially ended for the Apollo 11 crew, but that did not end the duties required for a flight of such magnitude. On August 12th, the Astronauts conducted a post flight press conference. They were greeted with a standing ovation from members of the media.
The helicopter door slid open and Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins stepped out of the helicopter onto the lower deck of the carrier Hornet to the accompaniment of a brass band. They appeared to many, like men from another world. They were outfitted from head to toe in gray-colored Biological Isolation Garments.
Without a word to Houston, while Buzz made his way back to Eagle, Armstrong took off running.
Long strides carried Armstrong into the sun’s glare to the edge of a crater that looked to be 80 feet across and 15 or 20 feet deep.
Armstrong and the lunar lander are reflected in Aldrin’s visor in the iconic “Visor Shot”
Armstrong working at the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA)
Armstrong back inside the LM after the historic moon walk
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“For one priceless moment, in the whole history of man, all the people on this earth are truly one. One in their pride in what you have done. And one in our prayers that you will return safely to earth” President Nixon.
Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 AD
The flag was not a territorial claim but was intended as a symbol of freedom and to identify the nation that achieved the first landing