Celebrating the Apollo 11 Moon Landing’s 50th Anniversary

By The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

50 years ago, two astronauts took the very first steps on the moon, as the world watched. Through this gallery, view the incredible moments of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) named three astronauts as the prime crew of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. Left to right, Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot.

NASA/Getty

At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida the S-1C booster for the Apollo 11 Saturn V was erected atop its mobile launcher.

Courtesy of NASA

On July 16, 1969, the huge, 363-feet tall Saturn V rocket launched the Apollo 11 mission from Kennedy Space Center.

Courtesy of NASA

Saturn V rocket for the Apollo 11 moon landing expedition. Aboard are astronauts Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin.

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Armstrong waved to well-wishers in the hallway of the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building as he, Collins and Aldrin Jr. prepared to be transported to Launch Complex 39A for the first manned lunar landing mission.

Courtesy of NASA

Personnel in the Launch Control Center watched the Apollo 11 liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at the start of the historic lunar landing mission.

Courtesy of NASA

The American flag heralded the launch of Apollo 11, the first Lunar landing mission. Four days later, on July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon's surface.

Courtesy of NASA

Collins practiced in the CM simulator at the Kennedy Space Center.

Courtesy of NASA

Armstrong's flight training in the lunar module simulator.

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Apollo 11 backup crew members Fred Haise (left) and Jim Lovell before entering the Lunar Module for an altitude test.

Courtesy of NASA

This outstanding view of the full moon was photographed from the Apollo 11 spacecraft during its trans-Earth journey homeward. When this picture was taken, the spacecraft was already 10,000 nautical miles away.

Courtesy of NASA

Aldrin Jr. egressed the Lunar Module "Eagle" and descended the steps before walking on the moon.

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Aldrin set up scientific experiments on the surface of the moon.

Time & Life Pictures/Getty

Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon. Armstrong took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. While Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, Collins remained with the command and service modules in lunar orbit.

Courtesy of NASA

An Apollo 11 astronaut's footprint in the lunar soil, photographed by a 70 mm lunar surface camera. Armstrong stepped into history on July 20, 1969, by leaving the first human footprint on the surface of the moon.

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"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," were Armstrong's famous words as he reached the surface.

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Aldrin Jr. posed for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag during an Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the lunar surface.

Courtesy of NASA

Aldrin and Armstrong setup scientific experiments, including the Passive Seismic Experiment Package in the foreground.

Courtesy of NASA

From left, Collins, Armstrong, and Aldrin, Jr. paused for a lunar module mockup.

Courtesy of NASA

TV news anchor Walter Cronkite (left) holds up a copy of the New York Daily News with a headline that read 'Man Lands on the Moon' during his coverage of NASA's Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. Former astronaut Wally Schirra sat beside him.

CBS Photo Archive/Getty

The astronauts were subjected to a period of quarantine upon their return to earth. Through the window of their Mobile Quarantine Facility, they hold a conversation with President Richard Nixon.

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The astronauts beside a boiler plate Apollo capsule on the deck of the NASA vessel Retriever during water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Apollo 10, carrying astronauts Thomas Stafford, Eugene Cernan and John Young was launched on May 18,1969, on a lunar orbital mission as a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 Moon landing mission.

Science & Society Picture Library/Getty

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