Apollo 11 Space Mission: Google Doodle celebrates 50 years since Apollo 11's journey to the Moon and back

The epic journey of Apollo 11 to the Moon and back is narrated by former astronaut & Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins.

Google celebrates fifty years since the Apollo 11 mission by NASA in today's Doodle. The mission, which was the first time humans landed on the Moon. The Doodle celebrates this epic moment in the history of humankind, science, engineering, and spaceflight by taking viewers through the journey to the Moon and back, narrated by a special somebody with firsthand knowledge about everything that went on during the mission – former astronaut and Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins.

The Doodle brings to life facts that weren't previously known about the mission. For instance, the team contributing to Project Apollo from around the world are roughly 4,00,000 in number! Most of these people are construction workers, scientists, and engineers who never left the ground. Also among those 4,00,000 were the mission’s three astronauts – Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins.

Their historic journey began with one of the most powerful rockets of all time – the Saturn V – blasting off from the Kennedy Space Center on 16 July 1969. After inserting themselves into the Moon's orbit, part of their vehicle – the lunar module, also called "the Eagle," separated for a 13-minute controlled drop to the surface. Michael Collins stayed behind in the orbiting base (called the command module), which would eventually bring the astronaut trio back home.

The mission was laden with challenges from the get-go. To name just a few, Armstrong and Aldrin lost radio contact with Earth, the onboard computer showed unfamiliar error codes, and fuel ran short moments before the pair of them landed on the Moon. As millions watched on television anxiously, they steered the module to a chosen landing site in a crater known as the 'Sea of Tranquility' on 20 July 1969. Only a short while later, Armstrong became the first person to set foot and walk on the Moon, uttering the now-infamous words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

The Apollo 11 crew returned to Earth despite many challenges and odds against them on 25 July 1969. The Apollo program continued to carry ten more American astronauts to the Moon, with the final mission in 1972. Many breakthroughs — from CAT scans to freeze-dried food — were made possible by the Apollo missions, according to a release by Google.

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