On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11’s lunar module Eagle plunged toward the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin faced toward the surface, traveling feet first. As a camera in Aldrin’s window shows, Armstrong executed a maneuver, at the 50-second mark in this video, putting their backs to the surface, followed by a gradual pitch up to vertical for touchdown. Later, Armstrong is seen descending the ladder onto the surface. For the next two hours the men set up experiments, planted an American flag, and cavorted in the one-sixth gravity. They spent another 12 hours in the lander, took video through the windows, and slept fitfully. Less than 24 hours after arrival, they returned to orbit, having claimed the loftiest perch in the pantheon of air and space: First humans to walk on the moon.
Video: NASA (3:00)