Apollo 11 consisted of the Lunar (Eagle), Command (Columbia) and service modules.
Eagle housed Mission Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. before they were released from Apollo 11 to land on the moon.
Command Module Pilot Michael Collins remained in orbit on board Columbia. After some last-minute manoeuvring, the Eagle landed safely, with only 25 seconds worth of fuel left in her tanks.
When landing on the moon, the astronauts captured the world’s imagination through words and images as they ventured out in their space suits to walk on the alien surface. The low gravity meant they moved differently, floating between each step.
They took photos, ran tests and collected samples and after 21 hours on the moon, including more than two hours of moon walking, the Eagle launched to reunite with Columbia. The astronauts left behind evidence of their achievement, an American Flag, scientific tools, and messages of goodwill.
With all astronauts safe on the Columbia module, the Eagle was jettisoned, or thrown away, so Columbia was the only part of Apollo 11 to return to Earth. After re-entering the Earth's atmosphere the spacecraft landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24 1969, about 1500 kilometres southwest of Hawaii. The three men were greeted by President Richard Nixon aboard the USS Hornet.
Image credit: NASA
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