Fifty years ago men first set foot on the Moon. A little bit over six and a half hours after the Eagle had landed, at 2: 56 UTC time, on July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon saying: That’s One small Step for Man. One Giant Leap for Mankind. (Armstrong said that he stated for a man, but the a is not audible.) Aldrin’s first words on the Moon were: “Beautiful view”, to which Armstrong responded “Isn’t that something? Magnificent sight out here.” Aldrin answered, “Magnificent desolation.”
Seven minutes after setting foot on the Moon, Armstrong took a soil sample. The planting of the American flag in the Lunar dust presented some difficulties, with the sharp edges of Lunar dust resisting the driving of the flag pole into the surface. However, it was accomplished and the astronauts saluted Old Glory. They then received a call from President Nixon:
Nixon: Hello, Neil and Buzz. I’m talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House. And this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made. I just can’t tell you how proud we all are of what you’ve done. For every American, this has to be the proudest day of our lives. And for people all over the world, I am sure they too join with Americans in recognizing what an immense feat this is. Because of what you have done, the heavens have become a part of man’s world. And as you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to Earth. For one priceless moment in the whole history of man, all the people on this Earth are truly one: one in their pride in what you have done, and one in our prayers that you will return safely to Earth.
Armstrong: Thank you, Mr. President. It’s a great honor and privilege for us to be here, representing not only the United States, but men of peace of all nations, and with interest and curiosity, and men with a vision for the future. It’s an honor for us to be able to participate here today.
They then deployed the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package which would conduct various passive experiments. Armstrong and Aldrin then collected 47.5 pounds of soil and rock samples. The rock samples included three hitherto undiscovered minerals. Interestingly enough, the newly found minerals were also later discovered on Earth. They then reboarded the Eagle, having been on the surface for slightly more than two hours, slept for seven hours, and at 17:54:00 UTC, the Eagle blasted off to rendezvous with the Columbia being flown by Michael Collins. The Eagle rejoined the Columbia at 21:24 UTC. Eagle‘s ascent stage was jettisoned at 23:41. All told the Eagle had been on the Lunar surface for 21 hours and 36 minutes. The plague below was left behind which read:
Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.
The Soviets that same day attempted to land the unmanned Lunar 15 on the Moon, but it crashed into a mountain in the Mare Crisum.