- July 20th, 2011
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42 years ago, on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step foot on another heavenly body.
Armstrong emerged from the spacecraft first. While descending, he released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA) on which the surface television camera was stowed, and the camera recorded humankind’s first step on the Moon at 109:24:19 GET.
The astronauts carried out a planned sequence of activities that included deployment of a Solar Wind Composition experiment, a Laser-Ranging Retroreflector and a Passive Seismic Experiment Package; also collecting samples of lunar material and photographing terrain. While Armstrong and Aldrin completed their tasks on the lunar surface, command module pilot Michael Collins kept vigil in the Columbia module orbiting above.
The three reunited and landed safely in the Pacific Ocean four days later.
For more info: www.nasa.gov/apollo
My private FDC (self adhesive printed cachet) for Apollo 11 designed stamps (2009) see http://alecbartos.com/?p=123