Today is National Moon Day, commemorating the day in 1969 that Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. Eleven other astronauts have gone on to follow in his bootsteps, including Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin, who took these historic photos during the Apollo 15 moon mission in 1971. We’ve stitched together their images to create this composite panorama of the landing site, where they spent three days conducting research. (If only they had selfie sticks back then.) Look for the ‘play’ button on our homepage to hear actual transmissions between the crew and the Mission Control Center in Houston.
Mission start: Jul 16, 1969
Mission end: Jul 24, 1969
Astronauts: Neil Armstrong · Buzz Aldrin · Michael Collins
Space program: Apollo program
Buzz Aldrin salutes the U.S flag on the Moon (mission time: 110:10:33). His fingertips are visible on the far side of his faceplate. Note the well-defined footprints in the foreground. Buzz is facing up-Sun. There is a reflection of the Sun in his visor. At the bottom of Buzz’s faceplate, note the white ‘rim’ which is slightly separated from his neckring. This ‘rim’ is the bottom of his gold visor, which he has pulled down. We can see the LEC straps hanging down inside of the ladder strut. In the foreground, we can see the foot-grabbing loops in the TV cable. The double crater under Neil’s LM window is just beyond the LM shadow.
Also on this day,
1944 | German conspirators target Hitler in ’20 July Plot’ and fail
Adolf Hitler is only slightly injured with a concussion and mild burns when a briefcase bomb detonates at the ‘Wolf’s Lair,’ his Eastern Front command post in Prussia. Conspirators in the assassination plot, most of them high-level German Army officers, will be captured and executed.1976 | Mars receives its first successful manmade visitor, Viking 1
Exactly seven years to the day that humans first walked on the moon, NASA’s Viking 1 becomes the first manmade object to land on another planet and complete its mission. Just hours after touchdown, the lander got to work, capturing the first clear image of the Martian surface.1989 | Aung San Suu Kyi, a force for Burmese democracy becomes a political prisoner
Having helped form the National League for Democracy the previous year, Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi is put under house arrest by her country’s ruling military junta, and will remain confined to her home on-and-off for 21 years. She will receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
Manufacturer: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Lived: Jul 18, 1921 – Dec 08, 2016 (age 95)
Height: 5′ 10″ (1.79 m)
Spouse: Annie Glenn (m. 1943)
Space agency: NASA
Education: Muskingum University
Children: John David Glenn (Son) · Carolyn Ann Glenn (Daughter)
- 1939: After graduating from New Concord High School in 1939, he studied Engineering at Muskingum College.
- 1943: On April 6, 1943, Glenn married his childhood sweetheart, Anna Margaret Castor (b. 1920).
- 1959: He was one of the “Mercury Seven” group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America’s first astronauts and fly the Project Mercury spacecraft.
- 1962: On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth and the fifth person in space, after cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov and the sub-orbital flights of Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom.
- 2000: In 2000, Glenn received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.
- 2013: With the death of Scott Carpenter on October 10, 2013, Glenn became the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven.