The Earth's
Moon


The Moon is the nearest body to us in the Solar System, and as a consequence of the Apollo missions is the only extra-terrestrial object that has yet been explored directly by humans. As a consequence of that exploration by both manned and unmanned spacecraft, we now know a great deal about our nearest celestial neighbor.

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space program in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important in the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish."


- President John F. Kennedy, to a joint session of Congress, May 25, 1961 (1.6 MB AVI film clip)

". . . t minus 15 seconds; guidance is internal . . . 12 - 11 - 10 - 9 . . . ignition sequence start . . . 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - 0 . . . all engines running . . . Lift-off! We have a lift-off ! . . ."

- NASA Mission Control; the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969 (276 kB WAV sound file)


"That's one small step for (a) man. . . one giant leap for mankind."

- Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, as he sets foot upon the surface of the Moon; 10:56 PM EDT, July 20, 1969 ( 172 kB WAV sound file)


Here is an interactive viewer which displays views of the Moon from the Earth, Sun, night side, above named formations on the lunar surface, or as a map showing day and night (Credit: John Walker).


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