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“Houston...Tranquility Base Here—the Eagle Has Landed”

Neil Armstrong spoke those words when the lunar module, Eagle, fully touched down on the Moon. The four pads at the ends of Eagle’s legs settled onto the lunar surface on July 20, 1969 at 3:17 and 43 seconds p.m. EST.

I watched it all. I was 13 years old and caught up in the excitement. At 9:56 and 15 seconds p.m. EST, Neil Armstrong was standing on the Moon. Buzz Aldrin was out on the Moon at 10:15 and 15 seconds p.m. EST. The total time spent outside the lunar module was a tad more than two and a half hours.

Remembering the whole event all these years later, it seems to me that the strolls on the Moon happened much later. I guess because even in the summer, my bedtime was before midnight (not by choice, of course). Those were the days when I didn’t command my own ship.

The original broadcast was a bit blurry, and at times, it was difficult to make out the words coming from Tranquility Base. Those little glitches didn’t take away from the wonder of watching two of Earth’s sons exploring another celestial object. Through the marvel of the technology of the time, they were able to leave our blue planet’s protective hold and see some sights our nearest space neighbor didn’t reveal until Columbia and Eagle came for a visit.

It’s completely amazing to me that our cell phones, which most of us have with us 24 hours a day, have more processing power than the computers that took the first Earthlings beyond our planet into the unknown. Technology is ever evolving because of space exploration. Check here on NASA’s site for more.

This is Apollo 11’s time schedule from lunar orbit to leaving the Moon for home.

Find a Moon rock near you.

Learn more about Apollo 11 here and here.

Jules Verne wrote De la Terre à la Lune. Trajet direct en 97 heures 20 minutes (From the Earth to the Moon. Direct Route in 97 Hours 20 Minutes) in 1865. Just 104 years later, humans walked on the Moon. We plan to go back, and then on to Mars. Send your name to Mars in 2020.

Happy Writing and Moon gazing!

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