I guess I am one of many out there that will dedicate a post the Apollo 11 mission today. Forty years ago, the world sat mesmerized in front of the TV sets, watching with fascination as a man took the first steps across the lunar surface. That famous sentence; "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind", was uttered by Neil Armstrong, as he performed the first moon walk ever.
This moon landing was part of the Apollo Program, more precisely Apollo 11. Launched on July 16, 1969, it carried Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr.
On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon, while Collins orbited above.
I am completely in awe of this achievement. I think this mostly due to the fact that it was an incredible operation performed with detailed precision, with absolutely moderate technology. So many steps and all of them had to work, yet with very primitive instruments, at least seen through the eyes of modern technology. In fact, the Apollo rocket is considered so successful, that a new spacecraft is being developed by NASA, based on this technology. Called Orion, it is under development and is destined for a new moon landing within the next 20 years, most likely with the goal to colonize the Moon.
This means that the Space Shuttles Program (Space Transportation System (STS)) is about to retire. The reusable spacecrafts have proven far less economical than originally assumed and will hereby fly on their last mission next year.