Now reread paragraphs 11 through the end of the article.
11 At 10:56 p.m. EDT Armstrong is ready to plant the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbs down the ladder and proclaims: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
12 Aldrin joins him shortly, and offers a simple but powerful description of the lunar surface: "magnificent desolation." They explore the surface for two and a half hours, collecting samples and taking photographs.
13 They leave behind an American flag, a patch honoring the fallen Apollo 1 crew, and a plaque on one of Eagle's legs. It reads, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."
14 Armstrong and Aldrin blast off and dock with Collins in Columbia. Collins later says that "for the first time," he "really felt that we were going to carry this thing off."
15 The crew splashes down off Hawaii on July 24. Kennedy's challenge has been met. Men from Earth have walked on the moon and returned safely home.
16 In an interview years later, Armstrong praises the "hundreds of thousands" of people behind the project. "Every guy that's setting up the tests, cranking the torque wrench, and so on, is saying, man or woman, 'If anything goes wrong here, it's not going to be my fault.'"
17 In a post-flight press conference, Armstrong calls the flight "a beginning of a new age," while Collins talks about future journeys to Mars.
18 Over the next three and a half years, 10 astronauts will follow in their footsteps. Gene Cernan, commander of the last Apollo mission leaves the lunar surface with these words: "We leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace, and hope for all mankind."
- NASAopens in new window, July 14, 2014