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Placing of the US Flag on the Moon

The first moon landing, a historic achievement in human space exploration, took place on July 20, 1969, during NASA's Apollo 11 mission. Led by Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the mission aimed to land astronauts on the lunar surface and return them safely to Earth. The mission commenced on July 16, 1969, when Apollo 11 was launched atop a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After a journey of approximately 240,000 miles, the spacecraft entered lunar orbit on July 19.


On July 20, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin boarded the Lunar Module, named "Eagle," and separated from the Command Module with Michael Collins on board. As the world held its breath, the Lunar Module descended towards the moon's surface. During the tense final moments of the landing approach, Armstrong took manual control to navigate the module past a crater-strewn area. The spacecraft finally touched down in the Sea of Tranquility region, and Armstrong's famous words echoed back to Earth: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." He became the first human to set foot on the moon, followed shortly by Aldrin.


During their approximately two and a half hours on the lunar surface, Armstrong and Aldrin conducted experiments, collected samples, and took photographs. They also planted the American flag as a symbol of their achievement. The astronauts rejoined Collins in the Command Module and left the moon's orbit on July 21 to begin their journey back to Earth. On July 24, Apollo 11 safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, marking the successful completion of the mission. The first moon landing stands as a monumental accomplishment, showcasing the capabilities of human ingenuity, determination, and collaboration in the realm of space exploration.


Of local interest, Buzz Aldrin’s maternal grandfather, Rev. Faye Arnold Moon, was the Minister of the Batavia United Methodist Church from 1915-1918. In a remarkable coincidence, Buzz Aldrin’s mother, Marion Moon, was in the same 8th grade class in Batavia with Beth Cigrand, daughter of Bernard J Cigrand.

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Marion Moon, the mother of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, second from the left in the row just below the top row. Beth Cigrand, the daughter of Bernard J Cigrand, is second from the right in the third row from the bottom. 

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