The Apollo 11 Moon Landing, 50 Years Later Fifty years ago this summer, the first astronauts landed on the moon. NPR is taking this opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future of space exploration.
Special Series

The Apollo 11 Moon Landing, 50 Years Later

Some of the space food that was scheduled to be carried on the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission included (from left to right): chicken and vegetables, beef hash, and beef and gravy. Bettmann/Bettmann Archive hide caption

toggle caption
Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

Michael Collins, center, poses with Neil Armstrong, left, and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. for a group portrait a few weeks before they took off to the moon in the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Space Frontiers/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Space Frontiers/Getty Images

On Apollo 11 Anniversary, A Former Crew Member Reflects On The Lunar Trip

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/743709340/743709341" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Neil Armstrong tests out his spacesuit and camera in April 1969, three months before he would actually set foot on the moon. NASA/Project Apollo Archive hide caption

toggle caption
NASA/Project Apollo Archive

Hollywood Shoots The Moon: 117 Years Of Lunar Landings At The Movies

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/741866451/743599339" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Greg Force and Abby Force at StoryCorps in Greenville, S.C. Alletta Cooper/StoryCorps hide caption

toggle caption
Alletta Cooper/StoryCorps

How A 10-Year-Old Boy Helped Apollo 11 Return To Earth

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/743076259/743351048" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

American aerospace engineer John Houbolt as he stands at a chalkboard in July 1962 showing his lunar orbit rendezvous plan for landing astronauts on the moon. NASA/LARC/Bob Nye/PhotoQuest/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
NASA/LARC/Bob Nye/PhotoQuest/Getty Images

(Left) The Apollo 11 command and service modules are mated to the Saturn V lunar module adapter. (Right) The Apollo 11 spacecraft command module is loaded aboard a Super Guppy aircraft at Ellington Air Force Base for shipment to North American Rockwell Corp. NASA hide caption

toggle caption
NASA

The Making Of Apollo's Command Module: 2 Engineers Recall Tragedy And Triumph

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/736576512/743801060" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Jim Bridenstine became NASA administrator in April 2018. He says that before the space agency can send humans to Mars, it has to get them back to the moon. Olivia Falcigno/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Olivia Falcigno/NPR

50 Years After Apollo 11 Moon Landing, NASA Sets Its Sights On Mars

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/741281881/741967379" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Astronaut Alan L. Bean holds a container filled with lunar soil collected during the extravehicular activity in which astronauts Charles Conrad Jr., commander, and Bean, lunar module pilot, participated. Charles Conrad Jr./NASA hide caption

toggle caption
Charles Conrad Jr./NASA

An Indian heavy rocket lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The same site will launch India's latest lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, early next week. R. Parthibhan/AP hide caption

toggle caption
R. Parthibhan/AP

The Apollo 11 mission celebrates 50 years this month. Brian Eno's score for 1983's For All Mankind documentary — released as Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks — has been reissued with brand new music. NASA/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
NASA/Corbis via Getty Images

The spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission 50 years ago. Apollo 11 blasted off for the moon on July 16, 1969, and Armstrong took his famed "giant leap" five days later. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Claire Harbage/NPR

Of Little Details And Lunar Dust: Preserving Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 Spacesuit

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/734031425/742109372" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Buzz Aldrin (left) practices collecting a sample while Neil Armstrong photographs during a training session before the Apollo 11 mission. The Apollo 11 astronauts returned with about 50 pounds of material, including 50 rocks. NASA hide caption

toggle caption
NASA

Moon Rocks Still Awe, And Scientists Hope To Get Their Hands On More

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/736212760/739643826" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This illustration shows NASA's Cassini above Saturn's northern hemisphere before making one of its "Grand Finale" dives. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

toggle caption
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Robots, Not Humans, Are The New Space Explorers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/733714689/739416336" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript