The Moon Landing

The Moon Landing

By: Zeke Ewing

Neil Armstrong 

Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon and proved to be one of the most important people in human history. He was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5th, 1930 (Dunbar, 2015). From 1949 to 1952, Niel served as a naval aviator, where he flew a collective 78 combat missions (Dunbar, 2015). After leaving the navy in 1952, Neil joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (now called NASA) in 1955 (Dunbar, 2015). He worked for 17 years as an engineer, test pilot, and astronaut. He was officially able to become an astronaut in 1962 (Dunbar, 2015). 

In 1962, Niel commanded the Gemini 8 mission to connect two space shuttles in earth’s orbit, which proved vital for future missions (including the moon landing) (Dunbar, 2015). In 1968 while piloting a lunar landing research vehicle, Neil almost lost his life due to the altitude thruster’s fuel running out, forcing Armstrong to be ejected from the research vehicle just before hitting the ground (Howell, E). 

Sadly on August 12, 2012, Neil passed away at the age of 82 (Dunbar, 2015). Overall Neil Armstrong is one of the most important people in human history, because of his amazing work as an astronaut, engineer, and naval aviator. “Even with the help of a team of scientists, his accomplishments are huge and helped in opening the door for discoveries in our universe”. 

Buzz Aldrin 

Buzz Aldrin was the one who accompanied Neil Armstrong to the moon’s surface and was one of the most important people to ever live. Buzz Aldrin was born on January, 20th, 1930 in Montclair, New Jersey (a life of service and accomplishment). Buzz attended Montclair high school, where he graduated a year early (a life of service and accomplishment). Afterward, he went to the US Military Academy where he finished third in his class (a life of service and accomplishment). Buzz eventually joined the air force where he flew 66 combat missions and took down two MIG-15′s in Korea (a life of service and accomplishment). 

Buzz was selected by NASA in 1963 and was the innovator of the docking techniques utilized in the future of orbits such as the Apollo and Gemini missions, and are still used today by NASA (a life of service and accomplishment). Buzz also came up with underwater training to adjust to the difference in the moon’s gravitational pull to the Earth’s (a life of service and accomplishment).  In 1966 Buzz performed the world’s first successful spacewalk on the Gemini 12 orbital mission and set an EVA record of 5 ½ hours (a life of service and accomplishment). Buzz received many awards for his work as an astronaut such as the presidential medal of freedom as well as getting a moon crater and Disney character, named after him (a life of service and accomplishment). 

Buzz Aldrin was one of the most well-known people ever because of his work as an astronaut, and scientist. Though mostly in the shadow of Neil Armstrong, both he and Neil aided in the growth of humanity through their major accomplishments.

Michael Collins 

Michael Collins was born on October 30, 1930, in Rome, Italy, and later moved to Washington DC where he attended St. Albans school (Astronaut biographies NASA). In 1952, he graduated from the U.S. military academy at West Point, New York with a bachelor’s degree (Astronaut biographies NASA). Before joining NASA, Collins worked as a fighter pilot and experimental test pilot at the air force flight center in California from 1959 to 1963 and logged 4,000 hours of flight time (Astronaut biographies NASA). 

In October of 1963, he joined the third group of astronauts named by NASA and served as a pilot on the three-day-long Gemini X mission, where he set a new altitude world record and performed the 3rd spacewalk (Astronaut biographies NASA). His second flight was the Apollo 11 mission where he had to remain in orbit while Buzz and Niel got to explore the moon below, and for his efforts when he returned to Earth, he received the presidential medal of freedom (Astronaut biographies NASA). 

Sadly on April 28, 2021, Michael Collins passed away, and though he didn’t explore the surface of the moon, his accomplishments were astounding and well deserve his place in the history books (Astronaut biographies NASA). 

The Moon Landing 

History was made on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong took the very first human steps on the moon. After President Kennedy’s challenge to NASA to get men on the moon by the end of the 60s, calling for “longer strides” and insisting that the moon “could hold the key to our future here on earth” (Dunbar, B. (n.d.)). 

After almost a decade of work, NASA almost didn’t make the deadline, but on the morning of July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins boarded the Apollo 11 Saturn V and NASA used 7.5 million pounds of fuel to propel the three into space (Dunbar, B. 2015). After 3 days of travel, the Apollo 11 crew were in lunar orbit and were finally ready to launch the Eagle lunar module and travel down to the surface of the moon (Dunbar, B. 2015). Neil successfully landed the module at 4:17 pm, and reported to the Houston team, “The eagle has landed,” and the room immediately cheered in celebration (Dunbar, B. 2015). 

With over half a billion people watching, Neil took the first steps on another planet and proclaimed “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind Aldrin joined Neil a little while later and he described the moon’s surface as a “magnificent desolation” (Dunbar, B. 2015). The two men then explored the surface of the moon for two hours, where they took some of the most well-known photos of all time, and samples of moon rock to examine on Earth (Dunbar, B. 2015). The two planted an American flag on the surface of the moon to symbolize that America won the great space race by having the first man on the moon. Michael sadly was never able to explore the moon and had to stay on the ship to keep in contact with mission control, but his work was very important for the Apollo 11 mission. 

The moon landing was one of the biggest human accomplishments in history and will be remembered for thousands of years to come, thanks in no small part to the hundreds of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and astronauts who poured everything they had into putting Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. 



source 1: NASA biography Dunbar, B. (2015, March 10). Biography of Neil Armstrong. NASA.  

source 2: Neil Armstrong: First man on the moon Howell, E. (2020, January 17). Neil Armstrong: First man on the moon. 


source 3: One giant leap for mankind Dunbar, B. (2015, February 19). July 20, 1969: One giant leap for mankind. NASA.  


source 5:Buzz Aldrin biography Biography – a life of service and accomplishment. Buzz Aldrin Astronaut Apollo 11 Gemini 12. (n.d.).  


 source 6: Michael collins biography NASA. (n.d.). Astronaut biographies. NASA.  


source 7: JFK speech Dunbar, B. (n.d.). A President Issues Nasa’s first Historic Challenge. NASA. 


Dory Bomba

Viviana Hernandez