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This story was first published after NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon on July 20, 1969. The Associated Press is republishing a version of the story to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Two Americans landed on the moon and explored its surface for some two hours Sunday, planting the first human footprints in its dusty soil. They raised their nation's flag and talked to their President on earth 240,000 miles away.
Neil - Alden - Armstrong - Air - Force
Both civilian Neil Alden Armstrong and Air Force Col. Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. reported they were back in their spacecraft at 1:11 a.m. EDT Monday. "The hatch is closed and locked," Armstrong reported.
Millions on their home planet watched on television as the pair saluted their flag and scoured the rocky, rugged surface.
Moon - Armstrong - Wapakoneta - Ohio - Foot
The first to step on the moon was Armstrong, 38, of Wapakoneta, Ohio. His foot touched the surface at 10:56 p.m. EDT and he remained out for two hours and 14 minutes.
His first words standing on the moon were, "That's one small step for man, a giant leap for mankind."
Minutes - Aldrin - Beautiful - Beautiful - Beautiful
Twenty minutes after he stepped down, Aldrin followed. "Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful," he said. "A magnificent desolation."
He remained out for one hour and 44 minutes.
Spacecraft - Eagle - Moon - Pm - Surface
Their spacecraft Eagle landed on the moon at 4:18 p.m., and they were out of it and on the surface some six hours later.
At the end, mission control granted them extra time on the lunar surface. Armstrong was given 15 extra minutes, Aldrin 12.
Surface - Seismometer - Moon - Interior - Shudders
Even while they were on the surface, the seismometer they installed to study the moon's interior was picking up the shudders created by Aldrin as he hammered tubes into the lunar crust to take soil samples.
Earlier, mission control reported that a laser beam shot from earth to the moon had been reflected back by...
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