SPACE NEWS

How many days did it take to land on the moon? What time of day was when it happened?

It has been 52 years since man first walked on the moon. Decades later people are still eager to learn the details of the "giant leap for mankind."

How many days did it take to land on the moon? What time of day was when it happened?
PATRICK T. FALLON AFP

At the height of the Cold War,  around the world, people watched the United States successfully landed its first human-crewed mission to the moon. It has now been 52 years since the Apollo 11 crew, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Edwin E. Aldrin, made history with their mission.

How long did it take to reach the moon?

The trio of career astronauts launched on 16 July 1969 from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It took them four days to travel the 55,200 miles to the surface of the moon.

The shuttle landed on the moon's surface close to midnight on 20 July.

Early in the wee hours of the morning on 21 July, more than a billion people from around the world watched as Niel Armstrong became the first person to step foot on the moon. After taking his first steps, he recited his famous words, “That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

Aldrin joined him around twenty minutes later, describing the moon’s surface as “magnificent desolation.”

The two spent a few hours snapping photographs and collecting lunar materials.

As they finish up their moonwalk, they plant an American flag as a memorial to the astronauts killed during the Apollo 1 mission. The plaque left behind with the flag reads, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."

Armstrong and Aldrin return to the shuttle and are guided back to earth, making landfall on 24 July.

Armstrong acknowledged that his success would not have been possible without the “hundreds of thousands" of people working behind the scenes in an interviewing following the mission.

Space travel today

As the nation commemorates the success of Apollo 11, the advancements in space travel have never been so clear.

On the 52 anniversary of the moon landing, Jeff Bezos’ space enterprise, Blue Origin, will send its first crewed mission to space. This comes after fellow billionaire Richard Branson took his first trip to space last week with his company Virgin Galactic.


While some space enthusiasts believe that these trips represent another milestone in space travel, others believe they perfectly embody the severe levels of economic inequality experienced in the United States and globally. 

Regardless, one important fact remains true: without Apollo 11 and NASA more broadly, these privately funded trips to space would never have been possible.

How to watch Blue Origin launch?

Blue Origin will stream the launch live on their website. Coverage begins at “6:30 am CDT,” and liftoff is scheduled for 8:00 am CDT."