PHOTOS: 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

Yahoo News Photo Staff
View over the heads of spectators of the launch of NASA's Apollo 11 space mission, Cape Kennedy (later Cape Canaveral), Florida, July 16, 1969. (Photo: Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
A view of the launch of NASA’s Apollo 11 space mission at Cape Kennedy (later Cape Canaveral), Fla., July 16, 1969. (Photo: Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A half-century ago, in the middle of a mean year of war, famine, violence in the streets and the widening of the generation gap, men from planet Earth stepped onto another world for the first time, uniting people around the globe in a way not seen before or since.

Hundreds of millions tuned in to radios or watched the grainy black-and-white images on TV as Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, in one of humanity’s most glorious technological achievements. Police around the world reported crime came to a near halt that midsummer Sunday night.

Astronaut Michael Collins, who orbited the moon alone in the mother ship while Armstrong proclaimed for the ages, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” was struck by the banding together of Earth’s inhabitants.

Read the rest by the Associated Press on Yahoo News >>>

The three crew members of NASA's Apollo 11 lunar landing mission pose for a group portrait a few weeks before the launch, May 1969. From left to right, Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin Jr. (Photo: Space Frontiers/Getty Images)
From left: Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission a few weeks before the launch in May 1969. (Photo: Space Frontiers/Getty Images)
Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong leading Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin (hidden behind Collins) down a corridor on their way to participate in the launch countdown demonstration test on July 15, 1969.  (Photo: SSPL/Getty Images)
Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong leads Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (hidden behind Collins) down a corridor on their way to the launch countdown demonstration test on July 15, 1969. (Photo: SSPL/Getty Images)
Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong runs through final notes before the launch of the Apollo/Saturn V space vehicle at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida on July 16, 1969.  (Photo by NASA/Keystone/Getty Images)
Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong runs through final notes before the launch of the Apollo/Saturn V space vehicle at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969. (Photo: NASA/Keystone/Getty Images)
The Apollo 11 astronauts exit the transfer van after they arrive at the mission launch tower, Cape Canaveral (then known as Cape Kennedy), Florida, July 16, 1969. (Photo: Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
The Apollo 11 astronauts exit the transfer van after they arrive at the mission launch tower in Cape Canaveral, Fla., July 16, 1969. (Photo: Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
View of the NASA's Apollo 11 mission rocket illuminated on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Kennedy (formerly and latterly known as Cape Canaveral), Florida, July 16, 1969. (Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
The Apollo 11 mission rocket illuminated on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, July 16, 1969. (Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
Mission commander Neil Armstrong, command module pilot Michael Collins, and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin prepare to ride the special transport van to Launch Complex 39A on July 16, 1969. (Photo: NASA/MCT via Getty Images)
Mission commander Neil Armstrong, command module pilot Michael Collins and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin prepare to ride the transport van to the launch pad on July 16, 1969. (Photo: NASA/MCT via Getty Images)
At 9:32 a.m. EDT, July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from Florida on a mission to the Moon. (Photo: NASA)
At 9:32 a.m. ET on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from Florida on a mission to the moon. (Photo: NASA)
Spectators watching for take-off of moon-landing mission of Apollo 11 at Cape Kennedy in Florida.  (Photo: Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Spectators watch as the Apollo 11 crew lifts off at Cape Kennedy in Florida. (Photo: Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
At 9:32 a.m. EDT, the swing arms move away and a plume of flame signals the liftoff of the Apollo 11 Saturn V space vehicle and astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A. (Photo: VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)
At 9:32 a.m. ET, the swing arms move away, and a plume of flames signals the liftoff of the Apollo 11 Saturn V space vehicle and astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin from Kennedy Space Center. (Photo: VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Vice President Spiro Agnew And Former President Lyndon Johnson View The Liftoff Of Apollo 11 From The Stands Located At The Kennedy Space Center Vip Viewing Site. The Apollo 11 Saturn V Space Vehicle Lifted Off On July 16, 1969 And Was Injected Into Lunar Orbit On July 19 With Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins And Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., At 9:32 A.M. Edt July 16, 1969, From Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex In Florida.  (Photo: NASA/Getty Images)
Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon Johnson watch the liftoff of Apollo 11’s crew from the Kennedy Space Center VIP viewing site. (Photo: NASA/Getty Images)
This NASA handout picture taken on July 16, 1969, shows some of the thousands of people who camped out on beaches and roads adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the Apollo 11 mission Liftoff aboard the Saturn V rocket. (Photo: NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
This NASA handout shows some of the thousands of people who camped out on beaches and roads adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch of Apollo 11’s Saturn V rocket. (Photo: NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
Tracking camera follows Saturn V shortly after July 16th moon launch here. Flames jet from booster rocket, as Apollo 11 craft streaks across the sky. (Photo: NASA/Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)
A tracking camera follows the Saturn V rocket shortly after the launch. (Photo: NASA/Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)
Members of the Kennedy Space Center control room team rise from their consoles to see the liftoff of the Apollo 11 mission on July 16, 1969.  (Photo: NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
Kennedy Space Center control room team members rise from their consoles to watch the liftoff of the Apollo 11 mission on July 16, 1969. (Photo: NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
The early moments after the launch of NASA's Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, 16th July 1969. The image was taken by a 70mm ALOTS (Airborne Lightweight Optical Tracking System) tracking camera mounted on an Air Force EC-135N aircraft flying at around 40,000 feet.  (Photo: Space Frontiers/Getty Images)
This image taken in the early moments after the launch was taken by a 70 mm ALOTS (Airborne Lightweight Optical Tracking System) tracking camera mounted on an Air Force EC-135N aircraft flying at around 40,000 feet. (Photo: Space Frontiers/Getty Images)
The Lunar Module (LM) of the Apollo XI space mission, with US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin aboard, is seen in lunar orbit after its liftoff from the Moon's surface on July 21, 1969 in space as it approaches the Apollo 11 command "Columbia" module for a rendez-vous. The large, dark-colored area in the background is Smith's Sea and earth rises above the lunar horizon.  (Photo: NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
The lunar module of the Apollo 11 space mission, with astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin aboard, is seen in orbit after its liftoff from the moon’s surface on July 21, 1969, as it approaches the command “Columbia” module for a rendezvous. (Photo: NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
One of the first steps taken on the Moon, this is an image of Buzz Aldrin's bootprint from the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon on July 20, 1969.  (Photo: NASA)
One of the first steps taken on the moon, this is an image of Buzz Aldrin’s boot print from the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon on July 20, 1969. (Photo: NASA)
Overall view of the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center, Building 30, Manned Spacecraft Center, showing the flight controllers celebrating the successful conclusion of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission on July 24, 1969.  (Photo: NASA)
Flight controllers in Mission Control Center celebrate the successful conclusion of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission on July 24, 1969. (Photo: NASA)
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Lunar Module pilot, is photographed during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity (EVA) on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. In the right background is the Lunar Module "Eagle." On Aldrin's right is the Solar Wind Composition (SWC) experiment already deployed. This photograph was taken by Neil A. Armstrong with a 70mm lunar surface camera. (Photo: NASA)
This photograph of astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, was taken by Neil Armstrong with a 70 mm lunar surface camera. (Photo: NASA)
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission, poses for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag during an Apollo 11 Extravehicular Activity (EVA) on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. The Lunar Module (LM) is on the left, and the footprints of the astronauts are clearly visible in the soil of the Moon. Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander, took this picture with a 70mm Hasselblad lunar surface camera. While astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin descended in the LM, the "Eagle", to explore the Sea of Tranquility region of the Moon, astronaut Michael Collins, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) "Columbia" in lunar-orbit. (Photo: NASA)
Neil Armstrong took this photo of Buzz Aldrin beside an American flag, with the footprints of the astronauts clearly visible on the surface of the moon, on July 20, 1969. While astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin descended in the “Eagle” to explore the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, command module pilot Michael Collins remained with the “Columbia” in lunar orbit. (Photo: NASA)
NASA and Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) officials join the flight controllers in celebrating the conclusion of the Apollo 11 mission on July 24, 1969. From left foreground Dr. Maxime A. Faget, MSC Director of Engineering and Development; George S. Trimble, MSC Deputy Director; Dr. Christopher C. Kraft Jr., MSC Director fo Flight Operations; Julian Scheer (in back), Assistant Adminstrator, Office of Public Affairs, NASA HQ.; George M. Low, Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program, MSC; Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director; and Charles W. Mathews, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA HQ. (Photo: NASA)
NASA and Manned Spacecraft Center officials join the flight controllers in celebrating the conclusion of the Apollo 11 mission on July 24, 1969. (Photo: NASA)
On July 20, 1969, America's Apollo 11 landed on the moon, making history as the first humans set foot on another world. Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin was photographed during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the moon by mission commander Neil Armstrong. Aldrin had just deployed the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package. In the foreground is the Passive Seismic Experiment Package; beyond it is the Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector (LR-3); in the far right background is the Lunar Module "Eagle." (Photo: NASA)
In this photo taken by Neil Armstrong, lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin had just deployed the mission’s scientific experiments package. (Photo: NASA)
The Apollo 11 crew await pickup by a helicopter from the USS Hornet, prime recovery ship for the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. The fourth man in the life raft is a United States Navy underwater demolition team swimmer. All four men are wearing Biological Isolation Garments (BIG). The Apollo 11 Command Module "Columbia," with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. splashed down at 11:49 a.m. (CDT), July 24, 1969, about 812 nautical miles southwest of Hawaii and only 12 nautical miles from the USS Hornet. (Photo: NASA)
The Apollo 11 crew splashed down at 11:49 a.m. CT on July 24, 1969, about 812 nautical miles southwest of Hawaii and only 12 nautical miles from the USS Hornet, the prime recovery ship for the historic lunar landing mission. (Photo: NASA)
President Richard M. Nixon was in the central Pacific recovery area to welcome the Apollo 11 astronauts aboard the U.S.S. Hornet, prime recovery ship for the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. Already confined to the Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) are (left to right) Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot. Apollo 11 splashed down at 11:49 a.m. (CDT), July 24, 1969, about 812 nautical miles southwest of Hawaii and only 12 nautical miles from the U.S.S. Hornet. (Photo: NASA)
President Richard M. Nixon was in the central Pacific recovery area to welcome the Apollo 11 astronauts aboard the USS Hornet. Seen here in the mobile quarantine facility are, from left, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. (Photo: NASA)
New York City welcomes the three Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, Jr., in a showering of ticker tape down Broadway and Park Avenue on august 13, 1969, in a parade termed at the time as the largest in the city's history. (Photo: NASA)
New York City welcomes Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin in a showering of ticker tape down Broadway and Park Avenue on Aug. 13, 1969, in a parade that, at the time, was called the largest in the city’s history. (Photo: NASA)
New York City welcomes the three Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, Jr., in a showering of ticker tape down Broadway and Park Avenue on august 13, 1969, in a parade termed at the time as the largest in the city's history. (Photo: NASA)
New York City welcomes the three Apollo 11 astronauts on Aug. 13, 1969, with a ticker tape parade, which at the time was called the largest in the city's history. (Photo: NASA)

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.

_____

Read more from Yahoo News: