Apollo 11 Crew
A giant-sized Huck’s Heroes salute to three of the greatest names in American history: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Forty years ago this week, the Apollo 11 landing module, the Eagle, touched down on the moon. Armstrong took the first step off the ladder, the famous “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Aldrin joined him on the surface as virtually everyone in the world stopped and marveled, hushed, at the ghostly TV images of the first humans ever to stand upon ground that was not of this Earth.
After 2-1/2 hours, Armstrong and Aldrin blasted off, rejoined Collins, who was orbiting alone in the command module, and they returned home safe and sound. They did it in a spacecraft that to modern eyes looks impossibly small and fragile, with less computing power than today’s laptops. But it’s still more awe-inspiring than any modern CGI-filled space adventure movie.
The astronauts left behind a bag containing a gold replica of an olive branch, a disc with goodwill messages from the leaders of 73 nations, and a plaque that reads, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” It was the best message mankind had to offer. And it was delivered by the three best men mankind had to offer.