The First Moon Landing
The Eagle Has Landed
A Giant Leap
At 13:32 GMT on July 16th 1969, Apollo 11 took off from Cape Kennedy in Florida carrying three American astronauts. It took 5 days for the Apollo 11 spacecraft to travel the quarter of a million miles from The Earth into a lunar orbit.
Armstrong and Aldrin on the Lunar Surface
Chief astronaut, Neil Armstrong, detached the landing craft, or landing module named 'Eagle' and headed for the surface of the moon. If he failed to land correctly and damaged the module, he was destined to die there. No rescue was possible.
At 2:56 GMT on the 21st July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on the moon. He was joined by his colleague, Buzz Aldrin, fifteen minutes later. The third member of the team, Michael Collins, orbited the moon in the mother ship Columbia.
The moon landing has inspired John Zarnecki, Britain's leading spaceman, to explore distant new worlds. Last Christmas he became the first man to send a space probe to Titan, Saturn's largest moon, over a billion miles from Earth.
As with all great achievements there will be doubters. The Apollo 11 mission is no exception, there are a vociferous few who claim that the available technology of the time could not possibly have taken man to the moon successfully. Because the US was in a space race with the Soviets they claim the moon landing has been an elaborate hoax.