Fifty-two years ago, the entire world united for a week. Everyone forgot their differences and together as one tuned in on radio and TV to watch the greatest feat in the history of humanity.
The first step on another world transformed us in so many ways. Just months before on Apollo 8, we saw for the first time Earth from afar, and then the famous "Earthrise" photo, of the Earth rising above the Moon.Imagine this: It is July 16, 1969, and hundreds of thousands of people camped out near the Kennedy Space Center overnight waiting for the launch of Apollo 11. Millions more around the world are glued to their TVs and radios, awaiting the magical moment. It's a bright sunny morning and Apollo 11 is gleaming on the launch pad as technicians check the million-plus systems that all must work perfectly.
The astronauts wave to the cameras as they depart for the pad, and ascend 365 feet to the top of the Saturn V rocket. The hatch is closed and the world awaits...
All systems are GO! The time is 9:32 AM. The world holds its breath!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0! Smoke and fire billow from the mighty engines and slowly the rocket rises, then faster and faster. Humanity cheers on the launch of Apollo 11 on its historic mission to land Americans on the moon.
Apollo 11 is now in orbit. Two hours and 44 minutes later, the engines fired to take the spacecraft out of earth orbit and towards the moon, still a quarter of a million miles distant.
The adventure begins.