Tuesday, July 16, 2019



Cape Kennedy, Florida  (JFK+50) On July 16, 1969, "the engines ignited and (a) massive 2840-ton rocket rose into the blue sky" here at the Cape.  Liftoff came at 9:32 a.m. (E.D.T.)  The capsule communicator announced..."Liftoff on Apollo 11 at 32 minutes past the hour."  

Former president Lyndon B. Johnson and Vice President Spiro Agnew were on hand to witness the launch while 700,000 observed from the around around the Space Center.  On board Apollo 11 were astronauts Neil Armstrong*, Buzz
Aldrin** and Michael Collins***. 

Attached to the Apollo 11 spacecraft was the Lunar Module, Eagle.  Apollo was designated the Command Service Module.  Mike Collins would stay aboard the CSM orbiting the Moon while Neil and Buzz descended to the lunar surface aboard Eagle.

The three Americans were destined to fulfill President John F. Kennedy's vision of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.

*Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  He served in the US Navy in the Korean War. NA was a graduate of Purdue University and later after becoming a test pilot joined the astronaut corps in 1962. His 1st space flight was on Gemini 8 in 1966. 

**Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin was born in Montclair, NJ on Jan 20, 1930. He is a graduate of West Point where he majored in mechanical engineering. 
Buzz served in Korea and flew 66 combat missions.  He joined the astronaut program in 1963.

***Michael Collins was born in Rome, Italy, the son of a US military officer, on October 31, 1930.  He attended West Point and joined the US Air Force.
MC was accepted to the astronaut program in 1963 and his 1st space flight came on Gemini 10.


"One Small Step:  Celebrating the First Men on the Moon," by Jerry Stone, Templar Publishing, Great Britain, 2009.

"The Eagle Has Landed: Happy Anniversary, Apollo 11," by Nate Rawlings, July 20, 2011,

Apollo 11 Saturn Liftoff
July 16 1969
Space Complex 39A
Cape Kennedy
NASA Photo