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Photos: A look back at the 1969 moon landing

Astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. posed for a photograph taken by Neil Armstrong beside the US flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969.
Astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. posed for a photograph taken by Neil Armstrong beside the US flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969.(NEIL ARMSTRONG via AFP/Getty Images)

On July 20, 1969, Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins became the first people to land on the moon. When the Saturn V rocket launched with the Apollo 11 capsule on July 16, 1969, 1 million people flocked to watch the spectacle on the beaches of Florida near Cape Canaveral. As Armstrong made his historic first step on the moon, his words were broadcast 240,000 miles back to earth: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Take a look back as we revisit the moon landing for its 50th anniversary.

The official crew portrait of the Apollo 11 astronauts taken at the Kennedy Space Center on March 30, 1969. Pictured from left to right are Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, module pilot; and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot.
The official crew portrait of the Apollo 11 astronauts taken at the Kennedy Space Center on March 30, 1969. Pictured from left to right are Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, module pilot; and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot. (NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin walked to the van that will take the crew to the launchpad at Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida on July 16, 1969.
Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin walked to the van that will take the crew to the launchpad at Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida on July 16, 1969.(Associated Press)
The Saturn V rocket with the Apollo 11 crew lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969.
The Saturn V rocket with the Apollo 11 crew lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969.(NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
Vice President Spiro Agnew and former president Lyndon Johnson viewed the liftoff of Apollo 11 from the stands located at the Kennedy Space Center VIP viewing site on July 16, 1969.
Vice President Spiro Agnew and former president Lyndon Johnson viewed the liftoff of Apollo 11 from the stands located at the Kennedy Space Center VIP viewing site on July 16, 1969.(NASA/Getty Images)
Thousands of people camped out on beaches and roads adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to watch the Apollo 11 mission liftoff aboard the Saturn V rocket on July 16, 1969.
Thousands of people camped out on beaches and roads adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to watch the Apollo 11 mission liftoff aboard the Saturn V rocket on July 16, 1969.(NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
NASA officials Charles W. Mathews; Dr. Wernher von Braun, director, Marshall Space Flight Center; Dr. George E. Mueller, associate administrator for manned space flight; and Air Force Lieutenant General Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo program director, celebrated the successful launch of Apollo 11 in the control room at the Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969.
NASA officials Charles W. Mathews; Dr. Wernher von Braun, director, Marshall Space Flight Center; Dr. George E. Mueller, associate administrator for manned space flight; and Air Force Lieutenant General Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo program director, celebrated the successful launch of Apollo 11 in the control room at the Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969.(NASA)
This photo taken by the Apollo 11 crew shows an Earthrise viewed from lunar orbit prior to landing on July 20, 1969.
This photo taken by the Apollo 11 crew shows an Earthrise viewed from lunar orbit prior to landing on July 20, 1969.(NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
The Apollo 11 lunar module undocked from the command module on its way to the surface of the moon.
The Apollo 11 lunar module undocked from the command module on its way to the surface of the moon. (Michael Collins/NASA via Associated Press)
Armstrong's right foot left a footprint in the lunar soil July 20, 1969, as he and Aldrin became the first people to set foot on the surface of the moon.
Armstrong's right foot left a footprint in the lunar soil July 20, 1969, as he and Aldrin became the first people to set foot on the surface of the moon.(NASA via AFP/Getty Images)
Aldrin descended a ladder from the lunar module during the Apollo 11 mission.
Aldrin descended a ladder from the lunar module during the Apollo 11 mission.(Neil Armstrong/NASA via Associated Press)
Aldrin stood on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility with the American flag.
Aldrin stood on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility with the American flag. (NEIL ARMSTRONG via AFP/Getty Images)
People watched the moon landing on a TV at Logan Airport in Boston.
People watched the moon landing on a TV at Logan Airport in Boston. (Bill Brett/Globe Staff)
This photo taken by Armstrong (reflected on helmet) showed Aldrin walking on the moon on July 20, 1969.
This photo taken by Armstrong (reflected on helmet) showed Aldrin walking on the moon on July 20, 1969. (NEIL ARMSTRONG via AFP/Getty Images)
Crater Daedalus and Daedalus B (center left) were visible during the Apollo 11 mission.
Crater Daedalus and Daedalus B (center left) were visible during the Apollo 11 mission.(NASA via Associated Press)
Aldrin conducted experiments on the moon’s surface in a picture taken by Armstrong, after they climbed down the ladder of the lunar module.
Aldrin conducted experiments on the moon’s surface in a picture taken by Armstrong, after they climbed down the ladder of the lunar module. (NEIL ARMSTRONG via AFP/Getty Images)
Fans in the sky-view seats at Fenway Park in Boston applauded the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon on July 20, 1969.
Fans in the sky-view seats at Fenway Park in Boston applauded the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon on July 20, 1969. (Frank O’Brien/Globe Staff)
Andy Aldrin, 10, sat on a pile of cordwood in the backyard of his home in Houston while other members of his family listened to the reports of the progress of the Apollo II lunar module carrying his father, Buzz Aldrin and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969.
Andy Aldrin, 10, sat on a pile of cordwood in the backyard of his home in Houston while other members of his family listened to the reports of the progress of the Apollo II lunar module carrying his father, Buzz Aldrin and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969.(Associated Press)
Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon near the leg of the lunar module “Eagle” during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity.
Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon near the leg of the lunar module “Eagle” during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity.(NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
The mission operations control room as seen during the Apollo 11 lunar extravehicular activity. The television monitor shows astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin on the surface of the moon.
The mission operations control room as seen during the Apollo 11 lunar extravehicular activity. The television monitor shows astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin on the surface of the moon. (NASA via Associated Press)
Aldrin on the moon's Sea of Tranquility.
Aldrin on the moon's Sea of Tranquility.(Neil ARMSTRONG/NASA via AFP/Getty Images)
Aldrin removed a scientific experiment from the lunar module during the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission.
Aldrin removed a scientific experiment from the lunar module during the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. (NEIL ARMSTRONG/AFP/Getty Images)
An image taken from the lunar module of the Apollo 11 command and service modules in lunar orbit during the landing mission.
An image taken from the lunar module of the Apollo 11 command and service modules in lunar orbit during the landing mission. (NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
The lunar module of the Apollo 11 space mission in lunar orbit, July 21, 1969.
The lunar module of the Apollo 11 space mission in lunar orbit, July 21, 1969. (NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
US Navy UDT swimmer Clancy Hatleberg prepared to jump from a helicopter into the water next to the Apollo 11 capsule after it splashed down in the Pacific Ocean to assist the astronauts into the raft at right on July 24, 1969.
US Navy UDT swimmer Clancy Hatleberg prepared to jump from a helicopter into the water next to the Apollo 11 capsule after it splashed down in the Pacific Ocean to assist the astronauts into the raft at right on July 24, 1969.(Milt Putnam/US Navy via Associated Press)
Hatleberg disinfected Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin, who were wearing their quarantine suits in the life raft during recovery operations in the Pacific Ocean, after the successful completion of their lunar landing mission.
Hatleberg disinfected Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin, who were wearing their quarantine suits in the life raft during recovery operations in the Pacific Ocean, after the successful completion of their lunar landing mission. (NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
President Richard Nixon gave an “OK” sign as he greeted Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin in a quarantine van aboard the USS Hornet after splashdown and recovery in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.
President Richard Nixon gave an “OK” sign as he greeted Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin in a quarantine van aboard the USS Hornet after splashdown and recovery in the Pacific Ocean on July 24. (Associated Press)
Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin shared jokes with well-wishers on the other side of the window of their mobile quarantine facility aboard the USS Hornet, July 24, 1969.
Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin shared jokes with well-wishers on the other side of the window of their mobile quarantine facility aboard the USS Hornet, July 24, 1969.(NASA)
Flight controllers at the mission operations control room in the Mission Control Center at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston celebrated the successful conclusion of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission on July 24, 1969.
Flight controllers at the mission operations control room in the Mission Control Center at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston celebrated the successful conclusion of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission on July 24, 1969. (NASA via Associated Press)
People lined 42nd Street in New York to cheer (in lead car from left) Aldrin, Collins, and Armstrong on Aug. 13, 1969.
People lined 42nd Street in New York to cheer (in lead car from left) Aldrin, Collins, and Armstrong on Aug. 13, 1969. (Associated Press)