On Aug. 25, 2012.
NASA – Portrait of Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing mission in his space suit, with his helmet on the table in front of him. Behind him is a large photograph of the lunar surface.
During re-entry from flight training at 207,000 feet in an X-15-3, Neil Armstrong inadvertently established a positive angle of attack during pull-out, and overshot Edwards Air Force Base in California, heading south at Mach 3 and 100,000 feet altitude. He finally managed to turn back while over the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and had just enough energy to land on the south end of Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards. In the debriefing, someone asked how much clearance the X-15 had from the Joshua trees on the edge of the lakebed. “Oh, at least 100 feet…on either side,” said the chase pilot.
Boarding Gemini VIII
Commander Neil Armstrong (right) and pilot David R. Scott prepare to board the Gemini-Titan VIII. Gemini VIII successfully launched at 11:41 a.m. EST, March 16, 1966. The mission conducted the first docking of two spacecraft in orbit and landed safely back on Earth after an emergency abort.
Practice Makes Perfect
In preparation of the nation’s first Lunar landing mission, Apollo 11 crew members underwent training activities to practice activities they would be performing during the mission. In this photograph, Neil Armstrong, donned in his space suit, practices getting back to the first rung of the ladder on the Lunar Module.
Beginning the Mission
The Apollo 11 crew leaves Kennedy Space Center’s Manned Spacecraft Operations Building during the pre-launch countdown. Mission commander Neil Armstrong, command module pilot Michael Collins, and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin prepare to ride the special transport van to Launch Complex 39A where their spacecraft awaited them. Liftoff occurred at 9:32 a.m. EDT, July 16, 1969.
On the Lunar Surface
Apollo 11 astronauts trained on Earth to take individual photographs in succession in order to create a series of frames that could be assembled into panoramic images. This frame from Aldrin’s panorama of the Apollo 11 landing site is the only good picture of mission commander Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface.
Apollo 11 Welcome
New York City welcomes the Apollo 11 crew in a ticker tape parade down Broadway and Park Avenue. Pictured in the lead car, from the right, are astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. The three astronauts teamed for the first manned lunar landing, on July 20, 1969.