PAS Salutes Apollo 11

Sunday, July 20, 1969. Where were you when the first man walked on the moon? It is hard for some of us to believe that it has been 50 years since we watched from our living rooms, many on black and white TVs, as Niel Armstrong stepped down from the lunar module Eagle and said those now famous words, "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

For many, this was the highlight of the Apollo missions, though there were amazing missions both before and after Apollo 11. With this page, the Pontchartrain Astronomy Society hopes to recognize the amazing mission that was Apollo 11, and bring back fond memories of the mission for our members and guests. Please explore this page and relive that exciting time, as we join NASA in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this summer.

Saturn V launch
Apollo 11 crew
bootprint on the moon

Saturn V launch

Apollo 11 Astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin

Footprint on the Moon

Photo Credit - NASA

Photo Credit - NASA

Photo Credit - NASA

Follow this link to check out NASA's Apollo program : Apollo Mission Pages

Join PAS at the Kenner Planetarium on July 20th for a celebration honoring the Apollo 11 mission and Kenner Planetarium's 20 anniversary. There will be guest speakers, solar telescope viewing, and the debut of Kenner Planetarium's new show Capcom Go!

Earth from the Moon


Photo Credit - NASA

Astronaut and flag

Astronaut and flag on the Moon

Photo Credit - NASA

Here are some interesting facts about Apollo 11:

  • The landing of Apollo 11 was watched on television by an estimated 600 million people.

  • The astronauts landed with only 25 seconds of fuel to spare.

  • Armstrong carried with him a piece of wood from the Wright Brother's plane to symbolize the great progress made in American aviation.

  • The astronauts declared "moon rocks", and "moon dust" to customs upon their return to earth.

  • The astronauts left several pictures of humans and recordings of many languages as well as medallions bearing the names of the astronauts that perished in Apollo 1 and the two cosmonauts who perished in a similar way.

  • Each Apollo 11 astronaut has a crater on the moon named in their honor. These 3 craters are not far from the Apollo 11 landing site in the Sea of Tranquility

  • Although the Eagle had landed on a bright lunar morning, the sky was black as midnight. An astronaut's paradise? Not a single star was visible. The glaring sunlit moon ground ruined the astronauts' night vision

  • The astronauts had checklists sewn to the forearms of their spacesuits. These "honey do" memos from NASA were jam-packed with activities such as inspecting the lander to displaying the TV, to collecting samples.

Moon with Apollo landing sites

Map displaying locations of Apollo Moon landings.

Legacy of Apollo 11

The task of landing an American on the Moon and safely returning him home before the end of the 1960's was no small achievement. Technology developed and applied in the Apollo years lead the nation to further technological developments, much of which contributed to the to the technology found in our everyday lives today.

Earth from the Moon

Earth from the Moon

Photo Credit - NBC News