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Forty-five years ago today, two human beings first set foot on the moon. On July 20, 1969, the lunar module of Apollo 11 touched down in the Sea of Tranquility, and forever changed how we view our place in the universe. When I think about the fact that four and a half decades ago, at the very moment I am writing this, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were walking on the freakin’ moon, I am humbled and inspired.

I’ve combined some of my favorite photos from Apollo 11 with some of the actual words spoken by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.

If you’d like to relive the historic mission moment by moment, word by word, and photo by photo, head over to SpaceLog

A full reply to @ReubenTheReal regarding NASA

Now, that right there is a harsh article—that writer, who wrote a whole book on the mission to Mars, apparently wants his sci-fi dreams to become reality, and wants ‘em now. First off, I’m not surprised that no one at NASA calls it the “random mode”. The “flexible path”, unfortunately, makes more sense when every new presidential administration changes the direction of the agency, like the Obama and Bush administration did (which is also a good reason to question whether NASA can achieve a Mars landing by 2030, since there are a lot of presidencies between now and then). Also, to paraphrase Penn and Teller, of course NASA is a wasteful government project, with different constituencies to appease, but they do good science. Indeed for space, they do the best science…for now (SpaceX, anyone?)

Second, that point in brackets about making artificial gravity by rotating a spacecraft? Awesome. They should totally divert some of that “why is zero gravity bad” research money there, though it’s still useful for studying low-gravity environments like those on Mars or on asteroids.

Third, he makes a good point about the budgets being relatively close in size when you account for inflation. That said, to answer the question, when will NASA get larger budgets? To quote Adam Steltzner from their Jet Propulsion Laboratories, when the US government has a $10-15 Billion budget surplus.



Apollo 11 Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin make the first moonwalk, on July 20, 1969.

In these clips they can been seen planting the U.S. Flag on the lunar surface and experimenting with various types of movement in the Moon’s lower gravity, including loping strides and kangaroo hops.

Moonwalk One, ca. 1970

From the series: Headquarters’ Films Relating to Aeronautics, 1962 - 1981. Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1903 - 2006

via Media Matters » Stepping Stones to the Moon

*salutes so hard fireworks go off in the distance*

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