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14 Photos From The First Manned Moon Landing, Which Happened 45 Years Ago Today

One small step for mankind, one big batch of pictures to develop afterward.

Posted on July 20, 2014, at 8:52 a.m. ET

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Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. It launched on July 16, 1969, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Flickr: nasacommons /creative commons

This Saturn V rocket that carried the astronauts into space was 363 feet tall and weighed 6.4 million pounds.

Thousands of reporters showed up to watch the launch of Apollo 11.

Flickr: nasacommons /creative commons

Many people even camped out to see the launch.

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The Apollo 11 crew included, from left to right, Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin.

Flickr: nasacommons /creative commons

Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin (who later legally changed his first name to Buzz) shows off the interior of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module prior to landing on the moon. Armstrong took this picture.

The lunar module, pictured here and known as "Eagle," separated from the command module, known as "Columbia," on July 20.

Flickr: nasacommons /creative commons

The Eagle landed late in the day on July 20. The mission plan actually called for the astronauts to take a five hour nap after landing, but (obviously) they couldn't sleep and got ready to go outside instead.

Armstrong and Aldrin made it outside early on July 21. This picture — taken by Aldrin — shows Armstrong outside the lunar module after the landing. Armstrong was the first person outside and there was some discussion over the years over what he said. He claims to have stated, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." However, those listening on earth heard only, "that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The omission of the "a" makes less sense, but that's what it sounded like.
Flickr: nasacommons /creative commons

Armstrong and Aldrin made it outside early on July 21. This picture — taken by Aldrin — shows Armstrong outside the lunar module after the landing.

Armstrong was the first person outside and there was some discussion over the years over what he said. He claims to have stated, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." However, those listening on earth heard only, "that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The omission of the "a" makes less sense, but that's what it sounded like.

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The astronauts conducted experiments on the lunar surface and explored the Sea of Tranquility.

Aldrin during his time on the surface.
Flickr: nasacommons

Aldrin during his time on the surface.

A footprint left by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts.

In 2009, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took high resolution pictures of the Lunar surface and discovered that the footprints were still there.
Flickr: nasacommons /creative commons

In 2009, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took high resolution pictures of the Lunar surface and discovered that the footprints were still there.

The astronauts spent about two and a half hours on the surface.

In this picture, Aldrin has just deployed scientific equipment and is looking back at Tranquility Base, where the lunar module is located.
Flickr: nasacommons

In this picture, Aldrin has just deployed scientific equipment and is looking back at Tranquility Base, where the lunar module is located.

The three astronauts splashed down back on earth at 12:50 p.m. EDT July 24, 1969, about 900 miles southwest of Hawaii.

They were greeted as heroes.

In this picture, Chicago throws a ticker tape parade for the Apollo 11 astronauts.
NASA

In this picture, Chicago throws a ticker tape parade for the Apollo 11 astronauts.

After their return, the three astronauts visited 24 countries and 27 cities in 45 days.

The men were met with enthusiasm during their tour, including in Mexico city where they donned sombreros and were swarmed by thousands.
Flickr: nasacommons

The men were met with enthusiasm during their tour, including in Mexico city where they donned sombreros and were swarmed by thousands.

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