Iconic Photos: 50th Anniversary of Man’s First Landing on the Moon, and the Aga Khan Museum’s Festival on July 20-21, 2019 to Celebrate the Historic Moment

Photographs and Text compiled from NASA Website by MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor Simergphotos, Simerg and Barakah)

Summary of the Apollo 11 Manned Mission to the Moon

ksc-71pc-178_Apollo 11 Official Crew Photo

Official crew photo of the Apollo 11. From left to right are astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Commander; Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module Pilot.

Date of Mission: July 16-24, 1969.
Crew: Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr.
Description: Half of Apollo’s primary goal — a safe return — was achieved at 4:17 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 20, when Armstrong piloted “Eagle” to a touchdown on the Moon, with less than 30 seconds worth of fuel left in the Lunar Module. Six hours later, Armstrong took his famous “one giant leap for mankind.” Aldrin joined him, and the two spent two-and-a-half hours drilling core samples, photographing what they saw, and collecting rocks. After more than 21 hours on the lunar surface, they returned to Collins on board “Columbia,” bringing 20.87 kilograms of lunar samples with them. The two Moon-walkers had left behind scientific instruments, an American flag, and other mementos, including a plaque bearing the inscription: “Here Men From Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon The Moon. July 1969 A.D. We Came In Peace For All Mankind.”


Kennedy’s Challenge to the Nation

President John F. Kennedy Meets with His Highness the Aga Khan, Prince Karim al-Husseini, at the Oval Office, White House, on March 14, 1961

President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) meets with the 49th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, Prince Karim al-Hussaini, at the Oval Office, White House, on March 14, 1961. The President announced on May 25, 1961 before a special joint session of Congress the dramatic and ambitious goal of sending an American safely to the Moon before the end of the decade. Speaking to his Ismaili followers in 1959, the Aga Khan had said: “When you think that you will be able to leave this world, and spend the weekend on the moon or Venus or something like that, this is a fact which may be very far from you today, but I want you to understand this is not a thought which will be far from your children.” Photo: Robert L. Knudsen, (Robert LeRoy), 1929-1989.

In 1961, US President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to land astronauts on the moon by the end of the decade. NASA met that challenge with the Apollo missions. It was the first time human beings left Earth orbit and visited another world. These missions made it possible to explore more distant worlds further in the future.

Apollo 8 crew

The prime crew of Apollo 8: James A. Lovell, Jr. (CMP), William A. Anders (LMP) and Frank Borman (CMDR) beside Apollo Mission Simulator. Apollo 8 flew to the moon but did not land on  the lunar surface. Photo: NASA

The first manned mission to the moon was Apollo 8 from December 21-27, 1968. It circled around the moon on Christmas Eve in 1968. However, Apollo 8 did not land on the moon. It orbited the moon, then came back to Earth. The crew was Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell. Two more Apollo flights, 10 and 11, to test the lunar module and to also test it going around the moon took place in March and May of 1969 respectively.

The first moon landing occurred at on July 20, 1969, on the Apollo 11 mission. The crew of Apollo 11 was Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the lunar surface while Collins remained in orbit around the moon. When Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, he said, “That’s one small step for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind.”

Television screens shared the momentous first steps in countries worldwide on July 20, 1969. News of the Moon landing spread across the world, captivating an entire generation and instilling an infectious sense of possibility for what was to come in space exploration.


Apollo 11: Leaving the Earth for a Remarkable Journey to the Moon

KSC-69PC-443_Saturn V SA-506 at the moment of ignition

Saturn 5 Rocket at the moment of ignition on July 16, 1969, as Apollo 11 heads to the moon. Photo: NASA

The Apollo 11 spacecraft was launched on top of the Saturn V rocket. The Saturn V was made of three stages. The first two stages used up their fuel reaching orbit. The third stage was used to push the Apollo Command and Service Module (CM or CSM) and Lunar Module (LM) to the moon. Once the spacecraft reached the moon, the two modules separated from each other. Two astronauts in the Lunar Module named “Eagle”, Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. landed on the lunar surface. The third astronaut, Michael Collins, stayed in the Command Module named “Columbia” in orbit around the moon.

ap11-S69-38889_table-top view of Neil Armstrong's lunar EVA suit

Table-top view of Neil Armstrong’s lunar EVA (Extravehicular Activity) suit. Photo: NASA


ap11-KSC-69PC-377_Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong prepares to don his helmet crew waves as they proceed to launch pad

Left: Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong prepares to don his helmet on launch day; Right: Apollo 11 Commander Neil A. Armstrong, waving, in hallway with Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. on way to Launch Complex. Photo: NASA


ap11-S69-39961_Apollo 11 liftoff collage as viewed from the launch tower and clearing ground

On July 16, 1969, the massive Saturn V rocket lifts off from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin at 9:32 a.m. EDT. Four days later, on July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon’s surface. Photo: NASA.


ap11-69-H-1134_liftoff of Apollo 11 as viewed from the LC-39 press site

Liftoff of Apollo 11 as viewed from the Launch Complex 39 press site. Photo: NASA.


1969-07-16_personnel watch lift off

July 16, 1969 – Personnel in the Launch Control Center watch the Apollo 11 liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at the start of the historic lunar landing mission. Photo: NASA.

ap11-KSC-69PC-397_Apollo 11 climbs toward orbit

Apollo 11 climbs toward orbit. Photo: NASA.

Apollo 11 as seen from an Air Force Plane

Apollo 11 as viewed from an Air Force plane. Image Credit: NASA


AS11-36-5293_Earth Orbit View

View from Apollo 11’s earth orbit. Photo: NASA.



The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle, in a landing configuration was photographed in lunar orbit from the Command and Service Module Columbia. Inside the Lunar Module were Commander Neil A. Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot, Buzz Aldrin. The long rod-like protrusions under the landing pods are lunar surface sensing probes. Upon contact with the lunar surface, the probes sent a signal to the crew to shut down the descent engine. Photo: NASA.



6550_View of earth before Apollo 11 lunar landing

This view of Earth rising over the Moon’s horizon was taken from the Apollo 11 spacecraft. The lunar terrain pictured is in the area of Smyth’s Sea on the nearside. While astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, descended in the Lunar Module “Eagle” to explore the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, astronaut Michael Collins remained with the Command and Service Modules “Columbia” in lunar orbit. Photo: NASA.


39601_Apollo 11 Control Centre during descent

Spacecraft communicators are pictured as they keep in contact with the Apollo 11 astronauts during their lunar landing mission on July 20, 1969. From left to right are astronauts Charles M. Duke Jr., James A. Lovell Jr. and Fred W. Haise Jr. Photo: NASA.


AS11-40-5844_view from LM during approach to landing site

View from Lunar Module during approach to landing site. Photo: NASA.


AS11-37-5454_view from LM window just after landing

View from Lunar Module window just after landing. Photo: NASA.


AS11-40-5850_Armstrong's first photo after setting foot on the Moon

Armstrong’s first photo after setting foot on the Moon. Photo: NASA.


21 Hours on the Moon

Six hours after landing at 4:17 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (with less than 30 seconds of fuel remaining), Neil A. Armstrong took the “Small Step” into our greater future when he stepped off the Lunar Module, named “Eagle,” onto the surface of the Moon, from which he could look up and see Earth in the heavens as no one had done before him.

He was shortly joined by “Buzz” Aldrin, and the two astronauts spent 21 hours on the lunar surface and returned 46 pounds of lunar rocks. After their historic walks on the Moon, they successfully docked with the Command Module “Columbia,” in which Michael Collins was patiently orbiting the cold but no longer lifeless Moon.

AS11-40-5862_Apollo 11 astronaut Aldrin backing out of LM, stepping down and on footpad

Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, Aldrin backing out through LM hatch; descending the LM ladder; and on the LM footpad as he prepares to walk on the moon. Photos: NASA.


AS11-40-5869_Aldrin on the LM footpad

Close-up: Aldrin on the LM footpad as he prepares to walk on the moon. Photo: NASA.


AS11-40-5877_Aldrin's bootprint and footprint in the lunar soil

A view of astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s bootprint and boot in the lunar soil, photographed with the 70mm lunar surface camera during Apollo 11’s sojourn on the moon. Photo: NASA.


as11-40-5961hr_Neil Armstrong Photo

This photograph of the Lunar Module at Tranquility Base was taken by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission, from the rim of Little West Crater on the lunar surface. Armstrong’s shadow and the shadow of the camera are visible in the foreground. This is the furthest distance from the lunar module traveled by either astronaut while on the moon. See panoramic view, below. Photo: NASA.


a11pan1111231EvMHR_Panorama Photo of Lunar Module by Armstrong

A panoramic view of the previous photo taken by Neil Armstrong. Photo: NASA.


AS11-40-5899_Apollo 11 LM ladder and landing commemorative plaque

Close-up view of the plaque which the Apollo 11 astronauts left on the Moon in commemoration of the historic lunar landing mission. The plaque was attached to the ladder on the landing gear strut on the descent stage of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module (LM). The plaque was covered with a thin sheet of stainless steel during flight. Astronaut Michael Collins, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) in lunar orbit while astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, commander, and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, explored the moon. The plaque says: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” Photo: NASA.


AS11-40-5944_Aldrin with experiment packages

Mission Commander Neil Armstrong documented the lunar mission and snapped this image of Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, as he carried the Passive Seismic Experiments Package (in his left hand) and the Laser Ranging Retroreflector (in his right) to the deployment area. These two experiments made up the Early Apollo Scientific Experiment Package. This photograph was taken at Tranquility Base in our Moon’s Mare Tranquillitatis, or Sea of Tranquility. Photo: NASA.


5872_Apollo 11 Aldrin erects solar wind experiment

Aldrin erects solar wind experiment. Photo: NASA.


182627main_image_feature_872_ys_full_Aldrin walking on moon

Astronaut and Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin is pictured during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the moon. He had just deployed the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package. In the foreground is the Passive Seismic Experiment Package; beyond it is the Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector (LR-3). In the left background is the black and white lunar surface television camera and in the far right background is the Lunar Module “Eagle.” Mission commander Neil Armstrong took this photograph with the 70mm lunar surface camera. The LR-3 experiment has produced many important measurements that have improved our knowledge of changes of the Earth’s rotation and have been used to test Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. The LR-3, which consists of a series of corner-cube reflectors composed of a special type of mirror that always reflecting an incoming light beam back in the direction from which it came, is the only Apollo experiment that is still returning data from the moon. Photo: NASA.


ap11fr01_Armstrong samples near LM

Armstrong samples near the Lunar Module. Photo: NASA.


ap11-S69-40308_Armstrong and Aldrin set up USA flag

Armstrong and Aldrin set up the U.S. flag. However, the Apollo 11 flag did not stand long. It was blown over during takeoff by the LM ascent engine’s exhaust plume. Photo: NASA.


AS11-40-5903_Aldrin poses for portrait with Armstrong's reflection in visor

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon near the leg of the lunar module Eagle during the Apollo 11 mission. Mission commander Neil Armstrong took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. Armstrong’s reflection is in Aldrin’s visor. While astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, astronaut Michael Collins remained with the command and service modules in lunar orbit. Photo: NASA.

5528_Apollo 11 astronaut Armstrong's photo after moon landing

Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 commander, inside the Lunar Module after historic moonwalk. Photo: NASA.


Return to Earth

When astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin were finished working on the surface, they got back in the Lunar Module and launched. It went back into orbit around the moon and connected with the Command Module. The two astronauts got back into the Command Module. They left the Lunar Module behind and flew back to Earth. It is not known what happened to the Lunar Module – whether it crashed into the moon or went into orbit around the sun.

The Command Module landed in the ocean, and a ship, USS Hornet, picked up the astronauts.

AS11-40-5924_LM ascent stage and Earth overhead

Lunar Module ascent stage and Earth overhead. Photo: NASA.

AS11-44-6642_LM approaches CSM for docking with earthrise in b.g.

Lunar Module approaches Command and Service Module  for docking, with earthrise in background. Photo: NASA.


as11-44-6667_Full Moon photographed from Apollo 11

This outstanding view of the full moon was photographed from the Apollo 11 spacecraft during its trans-Earth journey homeward. When this picture was taken, the spacecraft was already 10,000 nautical miles away. On board Apollo 11 were commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin. Photo: NASA.


AS11-44-6689_crescent Earth photographed during return trip

Crescent Earth photographed during Apollo 11’s return trip. Photo: NASA.


KSC-69PC-467_Apollo 11 crew in isolation suits after splashdown

The Apollo 11 crew await pickup by a helicopter from the USS Hornet, prime recovery ship for the historic lunar landing mission. The fourth man in the life raft is a United States Navy underwater demolition team swimmer. All four men are wearing biological isolation garments. The Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin aboard splashed down at 12:49 PM EDT, July 24, 1969, about 812 nautical miles southwest of Hawaii and only 12 nautical miles from the USS Hornet. Photo: NASA.


40023_Mission Control celebrates after Apollo 11 splashdown July 24 1969

In the Mission Operations Control Room of the Mission Control Center, Building 30, Manned Spacecraft Center, flight controllers applaud the splashdown and success of the Apollo 11 lunar mission. Four days earlier on July 20, 1969, mission commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. Photo: NASA.


ap11-KSC-69PC-485_The Apollo 11 crew relaxes in the quarantine van

Within the Mobile Quarantine Facility, Apollo 11 astronauts (left to right) Michael Collins, Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. and Neil A. Armstrong relax following their successful lunar landing mission. They spent two-and-one-half days in the quarantine trailer enroute from the USS Hornet, prime recovery ship, to the Lunar Receiving Laboratory at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. The Hornet docked at Pearl Harbor where the trailer was transferred to a jet aircraft for the flight to Houston. Photo: NASA.


40147_Apollo 11 astronauts, still in their quarantine van, are greeted by their wives upon arrival at Ellington Air Force Base

Apollo 11 astronauts, still in quarantine van, are greeted by wives upon arrival at Ellington Air Force Base. Photo: NASA.


ap11-69-H-1426_Chicago and New York welcome the Apollo 11 crew with a ticker tape parade

Chicago (left) and New York welcome the Apollo 11 crew with a ticker tape parade. Photo: NASA.



The Apollo astronauts came back to Earth with more than moon dust: their journey provided a perspective on Earth that humanity had never experienced. For the first time, we saw our planet as a whole, a small blue and white globe against the black vastness of space. In the 50 years that have passed since NASA landed on the Moon, the agency has continued to look back at Earth, using the view from space to learn how life, land, atmosphere, ocean, ice, and energy interact to create the Earth system that sustains us.

ap11-S69-39996_The first Apollo 11 sample return container, containing lunar surface material, is unloaded at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, bldg 37, Manned Spacecraft Center.

The first Apollo 11 sample return container, containing lunar surface material, is unloaded at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, bldg 37, Manned Spacecraft Center. Photo: NASA.


ap11-69-HC-967_Apollo 11 astronauts examine a lunar sample

Apollo 11 astronauts examine a lunar sample. Photo: NASA.


ap11-69-HC-1119_Apollo 11 astronauts at unveiling of commemorative stamp

Apollo 11 astronauts at unveiling of commemorative stamp. Photo: NASA.


ap11-74-H-551_Apollo 11 astronauts at Launch Complex 39 for unveiling of National Landmark plaque

Photo: NASA.


apollo11_lro_2009193_Landing Site

On July 20, 1969, humanity left its first footprints on another world. Forty years later the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera captured this image of the descent stage of the Eagle, Apollo 11’s Lunar Module (indicated by the yellow arrow). The descent stage is the largest artifact left behind by astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong after their 22-hour stay on the Moon. LROC image courtesy NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University. Astronaut photograph AS11-40-5924 courtesy NASA History Division. Caption by Rob Simmon and Holli Riebeek. Photo: NASA.


President Obama Meets with Crew of Apollo 11

President Barack Obama meets with Apollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins, seated left, Buzz Aldrin, Carol Armstrong, widow of Apollo 11 commander, Neil Armstrong, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, and Patricia “Pat” Falcone, OSTP Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs, far right, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, during the 45th anniversary week of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls.


The Future: A Keepsake for First Crew to Land on Mars

20140711_4jk9535_Mission Patch

This framed Apollo 11 mission patch was presented to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center during July 21, 2014, when the center’s Operations and Checkout Building was renamed the  Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building. The patch was flown aboard Apollo 11 in 1969. In 1987, all three crew members — Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins — signed the patch and presented it to former NASA Administrator James C. Fletcher for safekeeping until it could be presented to the first crew to land on Mars.


Attend Moon Festival at the Aga Khan Museum on July 20-21, 2019

2019-03-07-The Moon Exhibition-AKM-Aly Manji-18941 Medium

The Moon: A Voyage Through Time occupies the 2nd floor exhibition space at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. Wonderfully and beautifully curated, the exhibition is on until August 18, 2019. Photo: Aga Khan Museum/Aly Manji.

Fifty years after man’s landing on the moon on July 20, 1969, events are taking place around the world to mark the historic anniversary. Toronto is no exception. The Aga Khan Museum, the Aga Khan Park and the Ismaili Centre which were all founded by His Highness the Aga Khan have special moon related events running on Saturday, July 20 (Noon to 11 PM) and July 21 (Noon to 6 PM). This complements the on-going exhibition “Moon: A Voyage Through Time” that runs until August 18, 2019.

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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human steps on the moon at the Aga Khan Museum by discovering the wonder, knowledge, and beauty the moon has inspired through the ages. The exhibition “The Moon: A Voyage Through Time” runs at the Aga Khan Museum until August 18, 2019. Photo: Aga Khan Museum/Aly Manji.

The festival will feature live music, a food fair, artisan market, and family-friendly activities at the Aga Khan Park; sky watching in ROM’S travelling planetarium in the adjacent Ismaili Centre; as well as films and talks related to the moon inside the museum.

The exhibition titled “Moon: A Voyage Through Time” runs until August 18,  2019. It  seeks to combine an understanding of the moon based on scientific observations going back hundreds of years as well as expressions about the moon in Islamic literature and thought, including references to the outer world in the Holy Qur’an.

For full details of the celebrations planned during the weekend of July 20-21, please click Aga Khan Museum Moon Festival Program 

Date posted: July 17, 2019.


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