On July 20th 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to land on the surface of the moon, and his quote on setting foot on the Lunar surface has since become iconic: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The fame of the line meant that the other two members of Apollo 11 mission – Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins are often forgotten. The mission was the highlight of the space race that engulfed the US and USSR during the middle of the 20th century. USSR put the first man in space; Yuri Gagarin, and the US got to the moon first.

Interest in Lunar missions soon died down. The US made six more manned landings till 1972 and several more unmanned landings sporadically and the USSR gave up the project entirely. Today humanity is focusing on its next destination – Mars – but the effort is and international collaboration more than a race. Among the ranks of this mission you will still find one of the original pioneers – Buzz Aldrin – working on a way to put a man on Mars and bring him back within the next few decades.

“This has been far more than three men on a mission to the Moon; more, still, than the efforts of a government and industry team; more, even, than the efforts of one nation. We feel that this stands as a symbol of the insatiable curiosity of all mankind

to explore the unknown”.

–Buzz Aldrin, 23 July 1969.