From the Moon to the Earth

Apollo 11 blasts-off atop a Saturn V rocket: Perhaps the most awe-inspiring scientific achievement of the entire mission to reach the Moon were the incredible Saturn V rockets, one of which can be seen at the Apollo/Saturn V Center of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. While you're here you can also see the podium used by President John F Kennedy to deliver his famous “We choose the Moon” speech in 1962, which set in motion the space race that culminated in Apollo 11. © NASA

Forty-seven years ago today, two men walked on the Moon for the very first time.

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The scientific importance of the Apollo 11 mission’s importance is often over-played – the other 10 astronauts in the Apollo Program that walked on the Moon had much longer missions on the surface than 11’s two and a half hours, and so achieved more scientifically.

But it was Apollo 11 that brought back the first photographs, the first impressions, and the first physical rock samples from another world.

Their lunar samples confirmed that the Moon had a common origin to Earth – cue the ‘giant impact’ theory – while seismometers laid by Armstrong and Aldrin measured Moon-quakes that proved that the Moon had a core, a mantle and a crust, just like Earth.

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The historic places and treasured memorabilia from the Apollo 11 mission is mostly preserved and easy to find, but only if you know where to look.