This handout discusses the history of Apollo 11 and its scientific legacy.
After the Apollo 11 astronauts splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, carrying rock and soil samples, we entered a new scientific era. At the time, little was known about the history and composition of Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor. For the first time in history, scientists could analyze samples from another world. This allowed them to determine the age, composition, and other properties of the Moon and to learn more about the solar system itself.