The United States of America is the only country ever to land a manned spacecraft on the surface of the moon. The first person to walk on the moon was Neil Armstrong. Armstrong set foot on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, in what was one of the most-watched telecasts in the history of the country. Armstrong became an instant celebrity, whose name became a household word for generations to come.
The lunar landing mission was carried out on the Apollo 11 Spacecraft. Armstrong was the mission commander for the historic flight and was the second and last mission flown by him. There were complications involving the landing module that Armstrong dealt with at the time of the landing. The module was coming in faster than planned. It was destined to miss the landing site by several miles, but some quick thinking by Armstrong prevented a potential disaster.
When Armstrong did step onto the lunar surface, his words echoed throughout the country and the world: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for Mankind.” Years later, Armstrong and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) insisted that the quote was incorrect, and was obscured by interference. However, the quote is remembered forever in its original form.
Armstrong received the Congressional Medal of Freedom from President Richard Nixon and was later awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by President Jimmy Carter. The program was discontinued in the early 1970s. Other countries have landed unmanned missions to the Earth’s largest satellite, but to date, no other person has walked on the moon since then. Neil Armstrong, a true American hero, died in 2012 following complications from a surgical procedure.