50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

Visit the National Archives to see exclusive, featured documents from the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. From transcripts to flight plans, the museum will highlight some of the most important pieces of the monumental occasion. Documents will be on display through August 7, 2019 in the Rotunda Galleries.

Apollo 11 Flight Profile: Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida, on July 16, 1969. For the next eight days the world closely tracked the mission’s progress as the crew flew to the Moon and back to Earth. This flight profile details the flight plan for the entire mission.

Apollo 11 Flight Plan: This flight plan for hour 102 of the Apollo 11 mission gives a timeline of tasks to be performed by the crew—Mike Collins (CMP), Neil Armstrong (CDR), and Buzz Aldrin (LMP)—and Mission Control in Houston (MCC-H). While Collins orbited the Moon in the Command Service Module (CSM) Columbia, Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the Moon’s surface in the Lunar Module (LM) Eagle. According to the plan, touchdown was expected at 102:47:11, but Armstrong’s voice crackled over the radio “the Eagle has landed” a minute and a half ahead of schedule.

Apollo 11 Flight Radio Transcript: Astronaut Neil Armstrong uttered the historic phrase “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” as he took his first steps onto the Moon’s surface on July 20, 1969. This transcript of the Apollo 11 radio transmission to Mission Control documents the astronaut’s first impressions of the lunar surface but failed to capture Armstrong’s exact words. Whether the “a” before “man” in Armstrong’s statement was dropped due to an interruption in the transmission or because he misspoke remains a matter of debate.

Data Card for the Lunar Module: This “DATA CARD KIT” is a checklist of the EVA (extra vehicular activities) to be conducted by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during their moon walk, including taking photographs, inspecting equipment, and collecting samples from the lunar surface. The Velcro squares on the card enabled the astronauts to attach the checklist to Velcro patches on their spacesuits and inside the Lunar Module.

Past Featured Records
  • Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm: “Unbought and Unbossed”
    Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm: “Unbought and Unbossed”

    Shirley Chisholm became the first African American woman to serve in Congress when she took office in January of 1969. During her seven Congressional terms, “Fighting Shirley” was an outspoken champion for racial and gender equality, and economic justice. To mark the 50th anniversary of Chisholm’s... Read more

  • Live from the Moon
    Live from the Moon

    Watch telecast footage of the 1968 Apollo 8 Mission, the first manned spacecraft to reach the Moon and safely return. This multimedia presentation features photos of the Moon’s surface taken from the spacecraft and an audio recording of the astronauts’ description of the lunar surface.

    On display... Read more

  • Meuse-Argonne Offensive Map
    Meuse-Argonne Offensive Map

    The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was the largest operation of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I and the deadliest military campaign in American history. Fought from September 26 – November 11, 1918, by over a million American soldiers, the Meuse-Argonne operation was part of the final Allied offensive... Read more

  • Alexander Hamilton: An Inspiring Founder
    Alexander Hamilton: An Inspiring Founder

    In celebration of Alexander Hamilton and the Broadway musical inspired by his extraordinary story, the National Archives will showcase original records from the Founder’s life and legacy, paired with related Hamilton lyrics.

    On display in the East Rotunda Gallery through September 18, 2018.

  • Remembering the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Business Information Surveys for the Civil Disturbance Report, June 1968.
    Remembering the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Business Information Surveys for the Civil Disturbance Report, June 1968.

    In a turbulent decade filled with protests and social upheaval, the murder of the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968, resulted in widespread civil unrest in many American cities, including Washington, DC. The riots resulted in millions of dollars in... Read more