45 years ago today—on July 16, 1969—astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins launched to the Moon
on top of the mightiest spaceship ever built. These amazing photos from NASA's vaults show how they built and launched that spaceship—I look at them in awe and admiration.It was the most important trip in the history of humankind, a trip that many deemed impossible—some people still do think it's impossible
—an odyssey that started many years before andchanged our perception of the world itself.
Only eight years before this day—on on May 25, 1961—Kennedy announced a plan to go to the Moom.
It was a plan that they didn't have. In fact, the mere idea was one that almost everyone thought was impossible to do in that timeframe. Just think about this: The United States only launched its first man to space on May 5, 1961—and he didn't even orbited the Earth. That happened after Kennedy's announcement, on February 20, 1962.
And yet, they did it. The United States was fighting against all odds to beat the Soviet Union on the race to the Moon. The effort turned the country into a technological powerhouse like no other in the world, catapulting it decades ahead of everyone else, with more engineering students getting out of college than ever with the sole intention of participating in the greatest, most amazing project ever imagined.
Enjoy these images of an era long gone.