"The Eagle has landed. That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." ~ Neil Armstrong, 1969
The U.S. space agency is rigorously testing its Orion spacecraft in hopes of launching its first mission to the moon as early as 2019!
Today, July 20, commemorates the 1969 moon landing and moon walk!
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC.
Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC.
Armstrong spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, Aldrin slightly less, and together they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth.
The third member of the mission, Michael Collins, piloted the command spacecraft alone in lunar orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned to it just under a day later for the trip back to Earth.
Launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16, Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission of NASA's Apollo program. After being sent toward the Moon by the Saturn V's upper stage, the astronauts separated the spacecraft from it and traveled for three days until they entered into lunar orbit. Armstrong and Aldrin then moved into the Lunar Module and landed in the Sea of Tranquility. After lifting off in the upper part of the Lunar Module and rejoining Collins in the Command Module, they returned to Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.
Designed in 1970 by Ian Maxwell, a director of Eskvalley Knitwear of Langholm in the Scottish Borders, this tartan emphasizes the black, brown and grey from the lunar rock brought back to earth by the Apollo missions and the red for the rocket flame.
The tartan was extremely popular at the time and many hundreds of kilts and ties were made in it. Eskvalley originally produced three mohair stoles in it, one of which was presented to Neil Armstrong's wife.
For more on this historic space mission, click the photo of the moon taken from the Apollo 11 spacecraft.