International Moon Day: When Neil Armstrong averted disaster seconds before landing on Moon

International Moon Day: When Neil Armstrong averted disaster seconds before landing on Moon

Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, part of Nasa’s Apollo 11 mission, made history by touching the lunar surface. They landed at a location they named Tranquility Base, marking a new era in space exploration.

Apollo 11
Man’s first landing on the Moon occurred today at 4:17 p.m. July 20, 1969 as lunar module “Eagle” touched down gently on the sea of tranquility on the east side of the Moon. (Photo by Nasa/Getty images)
  • Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on Moon on July 20
  • Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the lunar surface in the Lunar Module
  • Apollo 11 had a profound impact on the entire world

“That’s one small step for a man…one giant leap for mankind..” Neil Armstrong’s message to Earth was immortalised as he became the first person to land on the Moon. The year was 1969 and the day was July 20.

The day is now celebrated as International Moon Day to remember the remarkable strides made in space exploration, particularly the Apollo 11 mission that saw the first humans land on the moon over half a century ago.

Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, part of Nasa’s Apollo 11 mission, made history by touching the lunar surface. They landed at a location they named Tranquility Base, marking a new era in space exploration.Buzz Aldrin

Aldrin climbing down Eagle’s ladder to join Armstrong on the surface. (Photo: Nasa)

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared International Moon Day to be observed annually on July 20, in its resolution 76/76 on “International Cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space” in 2021.

How Neil Armstrong saved Apollo 11

After days of travel through the vastness of space, Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the lunar surface in the Lunar Module named “Eagle.”

Despite the mission’s success, it was not without its challenges. On the descent to the lunar surface, the Apollo 11 Lunar Module was encountering unexpected difficulties. The onboard computer was issuing multiple alarms, and the astronauts were racing against time to find a safe landing spot.

As the module’s fuel ran low, Neil Armstrong took manual control, skillfully guiding the Eagle away from treacherous boulders to a smooth landing site. His composure under immense pressure and split-second decision-making saved the mission from potential disaster.

Apollo 11
Photograph of Aldrin and the US flag taken by Armstrong. (Photo: Nasa)

The moment the Lunar Module’s feet touched the surface, mission control erupted in cheers and relief.

As the world held its breath, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface, delivering his iconic words, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” Buzz Aldrin soon joined him, and together, they conducted scientific experiments, collected samples, and unfurled the American flag.

Apollo 11 had a profound impact not only on the scientific community but on the entire world. It showcased the incredible capabilities of human ingenuity, innovation, and determination. The Apollo program also paved the way for further space exploration, leading to numerous missions to the moon and beyond.

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