Sioux Falls, SD (KELO AM) - Forty-five years ago this weekend, a part of President John Kennedy’s challenge came true…putting a man on the moon.
Astronauts Neal Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldren landed the lunar module Eagle on the moon in the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969. Six hours after landing, Armstrong took his one small step on the moon…one giant leap for mankind. Aldren followed shortly after.
Astronaut Michael Collins, the third member of the crew, remained in orbit around on the moon, waiting the anxious moments until Aldren and Armstrong returned to the command module almost a day later, along with moon rock collected, for the return trip to Earth and a successful splashdown on July 24, 1969. The challenge of President Kennedy had been met…to be repeated by the Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 missions.
Apollo 13 had a mid-mission accident that forced the lunar landing to be scrubbed. The crew returned safely to Earth.