The Eagle Has Landed

In July 1969, which lunar module became the first to land on the moon?  

And the answer: Eagle.

Photo credit: NASA. 

"The Eagle has landed." On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft was launched with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin aboard. Almost 103 hours later, Armstrong and Aldrin landed the Eagle lunar module on the surface of the moon, the first humans ever to do so.

Project Apollo was introduced just 8 years before humans made the groundbreaking leap to the moon. On May 25, 1961, before a Joint Session of Congress, President John F. Kennedy introduced the staggering task: put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.

The project largely came as a response to pressure from Soviet Russia. After the fierce competition to be the first nation with a satellite in space (a challenge ultimately won by Soviet satellite Sputnik), as well as the fight to be the first to send a human into space (a title also claimed by Soviet Russia), the American psyche needed a source of hope and inspiration into the new decade. As such, Kennedy prompted his advisors: what could we do next, and fast?

Thus, the Apollo mission was born. Over the course of the decade, 10 manned and unmanned Apollo missions paved the way for the groundbreaking steps of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. Tragedy struck with Apollo 1, as three astronauts perished in the flames of a preflight test. In its wake, the American public was more tuned in than ever before. With changes made to the design of the flight capsule, the NASA engineering team forged onward.

Learn more about the construction, creation and liftoff of this iconic American landmark in history below.

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