Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad 50 years later

Pablo Tucker
July 16, 2019

It was the culmination of a Moonshot begun with John F. Kennedy's famous speech in 1962, an endeavor that set the U.S.'s sights on winning the space race.

Despite the festivities, neither the USA nor any other country has managed to return a human to the Moon since 1972, the year of the final Apollo mission.

This July 21, 1969 photo made available by NASA shows the USA flag planted at Tranquility Base on the surface of the moon, and a silhouette of a thruster at right, seen from a window in the Lunar Module.

There was too much to see to just walk around, so NASA had sent a moon buggy with them - but the rear right fender was damaged before they were able to take it for a drive. They spent the next two and a half hours walking on the moon collecting rocks and running tests.

Around 53 per cent people will like to travel to space, says a new survey ahead of the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo lunar landing on July 20.


The Apollo 11 flag has likely fallen over by this point, but flags from Apollo 12, 16, and 17 remain upright (though cosmic radiation has likely bleached all of them white by now).

He said, "50 years ago, the Saturn V took the command module, the lunar module, the three of us to the moon". By the time the Apollo 17 mission returned from the Moon in December 1972, I had already been captivated by the fearless astronauts.

"OK, now comes the gymnastics", said Neil Armstrong as he exited from the lunar lander through the hatch. As Armstrong and Aldrin made their descent, however, they caught a glimpse of the precise landing spot based on their trajectory and immediately spotted a problem: boulders.

More men would follow in the Apollo astronauts' footsteps, Safire wrote, and "surely find their way home".

But after returning from space, Armstrong said that wasn't what he had planned to say. Pictured fully in the photo are (from left) Charles W. Mathews, deputy associate administrator for Manned Space Flight; Dr. Wernher von Braun, director of the Marshall Space Flight Center; George Mueller, associate administrator for the Office of Manned Space Flight; and Lt. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, director of the Apollo Program. Then he called out over the radio: "The Eagle has landed".


"Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground".

The spacesuit that Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong wore for that one small step on the moon is back on display in mint condition. As such, Lego's latest push stems from a simple goal-to inspire younger generations to take mankind's next big leap.

At the time, astronaut Neil Armstrong is working at Mission Control in Houston.

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins has returned to the exact spot where he and two other astronauts flew to the moon 50 years ago.


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