-- Neil Armstrong, on July 20, 1969, on the Lunar surface as part of the Apollo 11 moonlanding mission.
Exactly 48 years ago, on May 25, 1961, John F. Kennedy made his speech before the joint session of the US Congress, supporting the need for America to put a Man on the moon. The speech came days after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly in space. Thus began the Apollo Program, which put among others, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on the Lunar surface. Ironically, Kennedy himself couldn't witness the historic manned moonlanding mission, having lost his life to an assassin's bullets in 1963.
The Apollo program was not without its failures, in particular the not-widely-known deaths of three astronauts, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, in the Apollo 1 launchpad fire. What a lot of us do know, thanks to the Tom Hanks starrer, is the failure of Apollo 13, while its crew was safely returned to Earth.
Image Courtesy - NASA
Image Description - Taken by Apollo 8 crewmember Bill Anders on December 24, 1968, showing the Earth seemingly rising above the lunar surface. This phenomenon is only visible from someone in orbit around the Moon. Because of the Moon's synchronous rotation about the Earth (i.e., the same side of the Moon always facing the Earth), no Earthrise can be observed by a stationary observer on the surface of the Moon.