NASA’s Apollo 11 crew safely landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969. The incredible moment marked the first time a human has set foot on a world other than Earth. Led by astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, an estimated 600 million people watched the Moon landing live on TV. You too can relive the experience of the Moon landing ahead to its 50th anniversary by voting in our Apollo 11 poll below.
NASA said: “Fifty years ago, we all watched together. When the Apollo 11 mission reached the Moon, humans set foot on another world for the first time.
“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 and infectious sense of possibility for what was to come in space exploration.”
On July 20, 1969, astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin safely descended to the Moon in their Eagle Lunar Module (LM) spacecraft.
READ MORE: 11 amazing facts about NASA’s Apollo 11 mission
Their colleague, Command Module Pilot Collins, watched on from a safe distance in lunar orbit.
About six hours after touching down in the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility region, Commander Armstrong left the LM to walk the surface of the Moon.
To this day, tens of millions of people remember the iconic phrase the US astronaut uttered on the Moon.
Armstrong said: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
READ MORE: Here are six NASA lunar landing sites visible in plain sight on Moon
Almost 50 years later to the day, NASA has asked those who remember watching the Moon landing to share their fond memories.
According to the space agency, hundreds of people have so far reflected on Apollo 11, their stories shared online as part of an audio series dubbed NASA Explorers: Apollo.
Fifty years ago, we all watched together
The US space agency said: “NASA Explorers: Apollo examines the cultural and scientific legacy of the Moon, while also considering what’s next for our future space missions.”
The incredible initiative is available online via Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Google Play, Facebook Watch and Youtube.
Below are some of the most fascinating Apollo 11 stories from the public, featured in the four-episode podcast.
READ MORE: What was NASA’s last mission to the Moon?
Moon landing poll: Around 600 million people watched Apollo 11 land on the Moon in 1969
Moon landing: Apollo 11 launched from Cape Canaveral on July 16, 1969
‘As it lifted off I looked over at my grandfather and he was crying’
Richie from Cathlamet, Washington, said: “When I heard Neil Armstrong say ‘one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind’, I instantly got it.
“During my grandfather’s lifetime the practical automobile was invented, perfected, aviation was invented and perfected, space science, rocketry, computers – all of that and here he was after seeing all of that, watching human beings taking off to the Moon.
“Whenever I think of Apollo 11 I think of my grandfather as a child riding in the back of a covered wagon, going to Nebraska, to a kind of uncertain future homesteading.
“And I kind of wonder, when will we go back?”
READ MORE: Is the American flag still on the Moon? What happened to the flag?
Moon landing timeline: Detailed look back at the Apollo 11 Moon landing
‘It was magic. We could just make out the grainy images’
Jennifer from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, said: “It was July 20, 1969. My brothers and I were sitting around the campfire just outside Halifax, Nova Scotia, in a campground we called home as dad did a sabbatical at the University of Halifax.
“Mum had just brought out a tray of bananas as the fire roared brightly and the Full Moon hung overhead.
“It was magic. We could just make out the grainy images on our little black and white television.
“We looked overhead and munched thoughtfully on our bananas, swearing that we could see the Lunar Module as it touched down.”
Apollo 11 crew: Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin
Moon landing: Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the Moon
‘It made the Moon not seem so far away’
Julia of Stow, Massachusetts, said: “I was seven-years-old in the Summer of 1969 and we were camping in Yellowstone National Park, which was one of our favourite spots. We had a great site by the lake.
“We had a little radio that we listened to occasionally. Other than that, no real way to keep tabs on the news – there was no wifi, no internet, etc.
“But of course, we knew about the Moon missions. Everyone did. Everyone around the world did.
“I know this now because I’ve met people from around the world who also remember that night. I even married one of them.
“The night of July 20, my parents got out that little radio and called to me and my three brothers to come listen. We were mesmerised.
“It was just amazing to think there were people on that Moon up there that we could see.”
‘Four-year-old me wasn’t really that impressed’
Doug from Phoenix, Arizona, said: “I was four-years-old when we landed on the Moon.
“My dad had taken me to a Five & Dine store to grab something and there were a whole bunch of people standing around out front of the store and staring at the TVs in the window.
“And he himself, my dad, who was never impressed by anything couldn’t help but stand and watch as well, and then pointed up to the Moon to say to me, ‘son, they are landing a man on the Moon for the first time ever, right this second, that’s what everybody is excited about, that’s what we’re watching live happening right now’.
“And I kind of thought to myself, ‘it’s right there, I can see it so clearly, we haven’t we ever been to the Moon before?’
“Four-year-old me wasn’t really that impressed but very excited nonetheless.”
Listen to more of NASA’s Apollo 11 memories on SoundCloud by clicking here.