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The first step, the moon

July 30, 2008
The two-man Gemini flights of 1965-1966 demonstrated that humans could fly in space, undertake complex rendezvous and docking operations, and even leave the spacecraft for extra-vehicular activity.

All of this activity during the early 1960s was in the service of the Apollo program to land humans on the moon.

Despite a deadly fire during ground tests of the Apollo capsule in early 1967, in December 1968, Americans first rounded the moon, and succeeded in landing on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility in July 1969.

For sheer excitement it was hard to beat, as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set down on the lunar surface with seconds of fuel to spare.

Image: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the Moon. Astronaut Neil A Armstrong took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera.

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