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NASA commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

NASA has designed an emblem for the 40th anniversary of Apollo, which will be highlighted as part of the agency's

WASHINGTON (BNS): Apollo 11th's lunar landing took place 40 years ago, after a successful launch on July 20th, 1969.

The astronauts of Apollo 11 on Sunday gather at the National Air and Space Museum Sunday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.

On July 20th, 1969 600 million people around the world watched live as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took those first steps.

Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon's surface, in the Sea of Tranquility, at 0256 GMT, nearly 20 minutes after first opening the hatch on the Eagle landing craft.

Armstrong's now famous words, "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," inspired a generation of scientists.

From 1968 to 1972, NASA's Apollo astronauts tested out new spacecraft and journeyed to uncharted destinations.

According to the NASA, it all started on May 25, 1961, when President John F. Kennedy announced the goal of sending astronauts to the moon before the end of the decade. Coming just three weeks after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space, Kennedy's bold challenge set the nation on a journey unlike any before in human history.

Six of the missions - Apollos 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 - went on to land on the moon, studying soil mechanics, meteoroids, seismic, heat flow, lunar ranging, magnetic fields and solar wind. Apollos 7 and 9 tested spacecraft in Earth orbit; Apollo 10 orbited the moon as the dress rehearsal for the first landing. An oxygen tank explosion forced Apollo 13 to scrub its landing, but the "can-do" problem solving of the crew and mission control turned the mission into a "successful failure."

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