Apollo 11: “The Eagle Has Landed”

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing of Apollo 11, the first spaceflight to land humans on the moon. Eight years after President John F. Kennedy’s call for Americans to go to the moon and come back, Apollo 11—the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program—was launched from Kennedy Space Center. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module “Eagle” at 20:18 UTC. The video broadcast of the two astronauts became the first TV transmission to Earth from the moon. An estimated 530 million people watched the video images of Neil Armstrong walking on the lunar surface. It was during this broadcast that Armstrong said his famous words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” thus ushering in a new era for space exploration.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the moon’s surface. Reentry procedures were initiated July 24, 1969, 44 hours after leaving lunar orbit. The iconic return to Earth with a splashdown into the Pacific Ocean was broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience after more than eight days in space. It is said that the Apollo 11 mission effectively ended the space race and fulfilled the national goal set by President Kennedy before the end of the 1960s, cementing the United States as the world’s leader in space exploration.

The legacy of the Apollo astronauts and their missions have undoubtedly inspired countless aspiring aviators who have looked to the sky. ALPA is working hard with key stakeholders to ensure the safe integration of space operations into our national airspace.

Categories: Industry