By Karen Rice • Official Kids Mag
What would it be like to walk on the moon for the first time?
No cities. No cars. No plants. No light except for the sun.
Fifty years ago on July 20, 1969, the first men walked on the moon. They were part of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
In 1961, when John F. Kennedy was president, he set a goal for United States to be the first country to have a human on the moon by the end of the decade. Richard M. Nixon was the president when Kennedy’s goal was accomplished in 1969.
The astronauts aboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon were Neil Armstrong, Commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot.
Commander Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. A camera in the Lunar Module provided live television
coverage as he climbed down the ladder to the surface of the moon and said the historic words, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Twenty minutes later, Buzz Aldrin also climbed down the ladder. The two then planted a United States flag on the surface of the moon.
About 600 million people around the world watched the moon landing on television.
Landing a manned spacecraft on the moon and safely back home again was important because it proved that space exploration was possible.
Over the next few years, 10 more astronauts would do a “moon walk.” The last mission to the moon was in 1972, but since then, humans have continued exploring space and today NASA is working on sending humans to Mars. See more about the moon landing on page 32.
As.tro.naut – (noun) a person who travels beyond the earth’s atmosphere; also : a trainee for spaceflight.
Click here to learn about the phases of the moon using a seriously yummy method!
To learn more about Apollo 11’s historic mission, click here.