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If you are one of the conspiracy theorists that believe the moon landing was faked, you may want to stop reading now. According to the site 24/7 Wall Street, the single most important historical event in Florida was the launch of the Apollo 11 in July of 1969. Lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, previously known as Cape Kennedy, the Apollo 11 was the spacecraft that took the first humans to the moon.


Launched by a Saturn V rocket, the Apollo 11 became the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program. The spacecraft was comprised of three parts: a command module, a service module, and a lunar module. The command module contained a cabin for the astronauts and it was the only part that would later return to Earth. The service module supported the command module with water, oxygen, electrical power, and propulsion. The lunar module was a bit more complex, containing two stages. The first stage was the descent stage which would be used for the astronauts to land on the moon. The second stage was known as the ascent stage, which would take the astronauts back into lunar orbit.


In addition to hundreds of people gathering in Florida near the station on the beaches and highways to watch the launch, the launch was broadcasted on television for the nation to view. Millions of people tuned in to watch the event, which had been commentated by NASA Chief of Public Information, Jack King.


After a few days of travel, mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin arrived. Just 6 hours after landing, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the surface of the moon. Twenty minutes later, Aldrin joined Armstrong on the moon and together they spent over two hours collecting lunar material to bring with them back to Earth. The entire mission took a little over eight days to complete, put an end to the Space Race, completed a national goal of President John F. Kennedy, and was “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”


Jorge J. Perez is an attorney in South Florida. He is a self-professed history buff. Visit often to learn more.