Saturn Apollo Program
Dunned in his space suit, Lunar Module pilot Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. does a final check of his communications system before the boarding of the Apollo 11 mission. Launched via a Saturn V launch vehicle, the first manned lunar mission launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on July 16, 1969 and safely returned to Earth on July 24, 1969. The Saturn V vehicle was developed by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) under the direction of Dr. Wernher von Braun. The 3-man crew aboard the flight consisted of astronauts Aldrin; Michael Collins, Command Module (CM) pilot; and Neil Armstrong, mission commander. Armstrong was the first human to ever stand on the lunar surface, followed by Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin. Meanwhile, astronaut Collins piloted the CM in a parking orbit around the Moon. During a 2½ hour surface exploration, the crew collected 47 pounds of lunar surface material which was returned to Earth for analysis. With the success of Apollo 11, the national objective to land men on the Moon and return them safely to Earth had been accomplished.