Registered: 31st May 2006
Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. It was the fifth human space flight of the Apollo program, and the third human voyage to the moon. Launched on July 16, 1969, it carried Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin. On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon, while Collins orbited above. The mission fulfilled President John F. Kennedy's goal of "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth" by the end of the 1960s. Many consider the landing one of the defining moments of the 20th century. crew Neil Armstrong commander Michael Collins command module pilot Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin lunar module pilot
Neil Armstrong-Mission Commander Spaceflights: Command pilot, Gemini 8 (1966). Commander, Apollo 11 (1969).
On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on the moon. Armstrong was a veteran aviator: he had flown 78 combat missions over Korea as a Navy fighter pilot, then joined NASA as a civilian test pilot. He was accepted into the astronaut corps in 1962. Armstrong was the pilot of the Gemini 8 mission (launched 16 March 1966) and then was named commander for the Apollo 11 mission of 1969. Along with crewmates Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, Armstrong flew to the moon; while Collins circled the moon in the command module Columbia, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the lunar surface in the lunar module Eagle. Armstrong was the first to step onto the moon's surface, uttering the famous phrase "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." After retiring from NASA in 1971, Armstrong was a professor at the University of Cincinnati for nearly a decade. His authorized biography, First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, was written by former NASA historian James Hansen and published in 2005.
Armstrong's first words on the moon are sometimes quoted as, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Armstrong maintains that he said "for a man," and that is how the statement was reported the next day, but tapes of his words are inconclusive.
Buzz aldrin-Lunar Module Pilot Spaceflights: Pilot, Gemini 12 (1966). Lunar module pilot, Apollo 11 (1969).
Buzz Aldrin was the second human to walk on the moon. On July 20, 1969, he followed Neil Armstrong onto the lunar surface while a third American astronaut, Michael Collins, remained in orbit overhead. Aldrin attended West Point, flew fighter jets in the Korean War, and then earned a doctorate in astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before joining the NASA astronaut corps in October of 1963. He flew on the Gemini 12 space mission (launched 11 November 1966) and then was chosen as the lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the surface of the moon. The success of Apollo 11 made Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins international heroes. Since his retirement from NASA, Aldrin has been an unabashed booster for space exploration. He founded Starcraft Boosters, a private rocket design firm. His autobiography, Return to Earth was published in 1973. He also wrote the sci-fi novels Encounter With Tiber (1996) and The Return (2000).
Aldrin reached the rank of colonel in the U.S. Air Force... Aldrin reportedly got the nickname Buzz from his Baby sister, who called him "buzzer" while trying to say "brother"... In a famous 2002 incident, Aldrin punched a conspiracy theorist, Bart Sibrel, who blocked Aldrin's path and called him "a coward and a liar" outside a Beverly Hills hotel. (Sibrel has often claimed the moon landings were a hoax.) Sibrel complained to police, but authorities declined to press charges against Aldrin.
Michael Collins-Command Module Pilot Spaceflights: Pilot, Gemini 10 (1966). Command module pilot, Apollo 11 (1969).
Michael Collins was the command module pilot for Apollo 11, the 1969 American space mission which landed the first humans on the moon. Collins graduated from West Point in 1952, flew fighters on peacetime assignment in Europe, and in 1961 became an Air Force test pilot. In 1963 he joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and began training as an astronaut. Collins orbited the Earth as pilot for the Gemini X mission (July 18-21, 1966), during which he completed two space walks. In 1969 he joined Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as a member of the three-man crew of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the moon. Collins circled the moon in the command module, Columbia, while Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the surface in the lunar module Eagle and then walked on the moon. The mission ran from July 16-24 of 1969 (Armstrong stepping onto the lunar surface on July 20th) and made all three men into lasting public figures. Collins retired from NASA in 1970 and later became the first head of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. His books include the memoir Carrying the Fire (1974), Flying to the Moon and Other Strange Places (1976) and Liftoff: The Story of America's Adventure in Space (1988).
Collins became the 17th American in space when he flew in Gemini X... Collins came from a military family. According to a 1989 story in The Houston Chronicle, "His father was an army general. He had an uncle who had been Army Chief of Staff... His father and brother had also gone to West Point"... Collins is unrelated to Michael Collins, the 20th-century Irish revolutionary leader.