“The Eagle Has Landed”
Once Apollo 11 was in Moon orbit the astronauts prepared for the last leg of their epic journey. Armstrong and Aldrin crawled into the Lunar Module (Eagle) and separated it for the descent to the Moon.
“The Eagle has Wings,” radioed Armstrong to Mission Control.
Firing the braking engine of the Lunar Module, Armstrong and Aldrin began their descent to the lunar surface. Mission Control in Houston, Texas closely monitored the descent, which was being guided by a computer on board. Aldrin called out height, speed and fuel readings as Eagle dropped even closer to the selected landing spot in the ‘Sea of Tranquillity’.
Aldrin reported that the Eagle’s descent engine was blowing dust around on the lunar surface.
Then came the touchdown. Feelers on the Eagle’s landing pads touched the lunar soil, and the contact light flashed on the console.
Armstrong radioed: “ Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.”
“Roger,” responded Houston. “Roger, Tranquillity. We copy you on the ground. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”
Not only Houston, the whole world had been holding its breath. Now a thrill ran through all those who were watching: for the first time a manned spacecraft had landed on another world.