This week, NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of the most important missions in history – Apollo 11.

The mission saw humans successfully step on the surface of the moon before safely returning home, and completely changed the world’s ideas of what is possible.

To celebrate the anniversary Google has created a special video Doodle, which is narrated by Michael Collins, who piloted the command module in the Apollo 11 mission.

Collins said: “50 years ago I went on an adventure that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon for the first time in history while I stayed in orbit 60 miles above them in the command module, which would have eventually bring us all home.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the Apollo 11 mission.

When was the Apollo 11 mission?

The Apollo 11 spacecraft took off from Cape Canaveral on July 16 1969.

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The astronauts spent four days travelling to the moon, before Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong finally descending down and stepped foot on the surface on July 20.

Having spent a few hours on the lunar surface, Aldrin and Armstrong returned to the command module, which was piloted by Collins, and the three returned to Earth, finally splashing into the Pacific Ocean on July 24.

Which astronauts were on the Apollo 11 mission?

The Apollo 11 mission had three astronauts on board – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

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Apollo 11 Eagle

 

While Armstrong and Aldrin stepped on the lunar surface, and are often acknowledged more than Collins, he also played a key role in the mission.

Collins was pilot of the command module, and remained there remained while Aldrin and Armstrong descended to the moon on board the lunar module.

What happened during the Apollo 11 mission?

On July 16, the astronauts launched into space on board a Saturn V rocket.

Four days later , Armstrong and Aldrin separated on board the lunar module, called the Eagle, for a 13-minute journey to the surface.

Meanwhile, astronaut Michael Collins stayed behind in the command module, which would eventually bring all three astronauts back home to Earth.

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Apollo 11 50th anniversary

Along the way to the moon’s surface, Armstrong and Aldrin lost radio contact with Earth, the onboard computer showed unfamiliar error codes, and fuel ran short.

As millions watched on television with anxious anticipation, they successfully steered the module to a safe landing on the crater dubbed the “Sea of Tranquility” on July 20, 1969.

Not long after, Armstrong became the first human to step foot on the moon, stating the now infamous words “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Returning safely to Earth on July 25, 1969, the Apollo 11 crew were followed by 10 more astronauts, with the final mission taking place in 1972.





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