of a giant leap for mankind

Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. walks on the surface of the moon
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. walks on the surface of the moon
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IT was the weekend when the world looked to the heavens as mankind completed its greatest ever voyage.

Forty five years ago on Sunday, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk upon the surface of a celestial body.

The American spacecraft landed on the Moon at 8.18pm on July 20, 1969, with Armstrong disembarking the landing module six hours later, uttering the immortal words “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

The pair spent two-and-a-half hours on the surface of the Moon collecting minerals and rocks as well as leaving an American flag and plaque which read: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” Some 600 million people are estimated to have watched the events at home.

Nasa will mark the exact moment Armstrong opened the spacecraft hatch to take his first step on the lunar surface when its official channel, Nasa TV, will replays footage of the Moonwalk.

Then on Monday the channel will broadcast the renaming ceremony of the Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida which will be named after Armstrong, who died in 2012. His Apollo 11 crewmates, Michael Collins and Aldrin, are expected to attend.