On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy set the goal of landing on the Moon in that decade.
Apollo 11 launched from Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. Four days later, an estimated 530 million people watched as the first spacecraft landed on the Moon.
Starting in 2007, NASA has been scanning and posting hundreds of thousands of its images; the collection grows daily at no cost to taxpayers.
I’ve chosen a handful that give a quick look at some of the achievements and missions leading up to the Apollo 11 mission. These photos accompany a feature in the Fall 2018 Western Pennsylvania History magazine.
All photos courtesy NASA and used with permission (except Robert Lawrence, courtesy U.S. Air Force). The captions are adapted from online descriptions.
Brian Butko is Director of Publications at the Heinz History Center, and author of books on diners, Isaly’s, Roadside Attractions, and Kennywood.