Pic shows astronauts' tracks on Moon 53 years after humans first landed on it
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Wednesday celebrated International Moon Day by remembering the first landing on the moon, which is regarded as a giant leap for mankind.
53 years back, on July 20, 1969, NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin touched down in the Sea of Tranquility, becoming the first humans ever to land on the Moon, NASA said in a Twitter post to commemorate the International Moon Day.
Roughly eight years after Apollo 1, NASA handpicked astronauts to complete the primary objective set by then US President John F. Kennedy, which was to perform a crewed lunar landing and return. On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy carrying Armstrong, Aldrin, and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins. The trio "performed flawlessly" to ensure a safe landing of Apollo 11.
About 650 million people lived the moment as Armstrong's televised image and voice disturbed by static said, "...one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" on July 20, 1969. The crew spent nearly 21 hours on the lunar surface, collecting samples and setting up remote equipment, making the whole mission last up to 195 hours, 18 minutes, and 35 seconds.
NASA on Wednesday marked the milestone with a broadcast of original footage of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. They also shared a video from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that showed the astronauts' tracks, still on the "surface of another world" after all this time. Last but not the least, they remembered JoAnn Morgan, the only woman working in the launch firing room for Apollo 11. "It would be one of many ceilings Morgan would break during her 45 years at NASA," the administration said.