Photographs of President Richard Nixon Greeting the Apollo 11 Astronauts on the USS Hornet
Original caption: NASA/APOLLO. ABOARD THE USS HORNET - President Richard M. Nixon appears to be holding the Presidential Seal which is attached to the door of the Mobile Quarantine Facility during his greeting today to Apollo 11 astronauts, left to right, Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, shoulders only, and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.
Color Photograph Files
The mission plan of Apollo 11 was to land two men on the lunar surface and return them safely to Earth. The spacecraft carried a crew of three: Mission Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., was launched by a Saturn V from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, and after three days until they entered lunar orbit. Collins was awaiting on Lunar orbit while the Eagle Lunar Module with Armstrong and Aldrin and has landed in Moon's Mare Tranquillitatis at 3:17 p.m. EST on July 20, 1969. Immediately after landing on the Moon, Armstrong and Aldrin prepared the LM for liftoff as a contingency measure. Following the meal, the astronauts began preparations for the descent to the lunar surface. Armstrong emerged from the spacecraft first. While descending, he released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly on which the surface television camera was stowed, and the camera recorded humankind's first step on the Moon. A sample of lunar surface material was collected and stowed to assure that, if a contingency required an early end to the planned surface activities, samples of lunar surface material would be returned to Earth. Astronaut Aldrin subsequently descended to the lunar surface. The astronauts collected lunar samples, deployed several experiments, and made photographs of the lunar surface. Two and a quarter hours later, the astronauts reentered the Lunar Module, after which the astronauts slept. The ascent from the lunar surface began 21 hours and 36 minutes after the lunar landing. In about four days, the Command Module entered Earth atmosphere and landed in the Pacific Ocean.