|Space Travel 101: Fundamentals of Space Travel|
This American mission was the first lunar landing that also brought the first man on the moon: Neil Armstrong. He and Edwin Aldrin then gathered materials for scientific experiments, and returned safely back to Earth.
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 successfully conducted the first manned lunar landing. Neil Armstrong, the first man to land on the moon, then said these famous first words, That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind. With him were Edwin Buzz Aldrin, who stepped onto the moon after him, and pilot Michael Collins, who remained in lunar orbit.
Collins was in charge of the command module. He released the lunar module, Eagle , and took this picture of the it as it headed toward the moon. He commented, "I think you've got a fine looking machine there, Eagle, despite the fact that you're upside-down," to which Armstrong replied, "Somebody's upside-down." Armstrong took manual control of the lunar module to guide it to landing on a smooth patch of ground, later known as Tranquility Base. Armstrong then reported back to Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
Armstrong placed the flag into the moon, although it was later blown down by the Eagle's exhaust as it left the moon. Armstrong and Aldrin also unveiled a plaque with the inscription signed by themselves, Collins, and President Richard Nixon: "Here Men From Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon. July 1969 A.D. We Came In Peace For All Mankind."
Both men worked to take pictures and gather important data such as rock and soil samples for scientific experiments. The rock and soil were screened for dangerous microbes upon being returned to Earth. When found to pose no threat to insects and plants, and other tests, they were released to scientists for research.