45 Years Ago Today: Apollo 11 Launches to Land Americans on the Moon

Curtis Kalin
By Curtis Kalin | July 16, 2014 | 9:21 AM EDT

Forty-five years ago this morning, three Americans began a journey to rendezvous with the moon, and history.

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins launched the 11th Apollo lunar mission at 9:32 AM EST on July 16, 1969. Their destination was the Sea of Tranquility on the lunar surface four days later. Neil Armstrong took that famous first “small step” on July 20.