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Apollo 11 the night before the launch
Today the 16th of July is a milestone in mankind's history, it is 45 years today since the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
It was on this this day at 13:22 UTC (9:32pm China Time), 1969 that Apollo 11 was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on it's epic journey to the Moon. 4 days later on the 20th of July at 18:10 UTC (21st July at 2.10am China time) the lunar lander finally landed on the moon.
Neil Armstrong's famous footstep on to the moon occurred at 02:56 UTC / 12:56pm on the 21st China Time. His co-lander Buzz Aldrin was the second man to step foot on the moon.
This achievement represents the greatest milestone in the history of exploration, for it was the first time human beings set foot on another world, it is also the greatest technical achievement by mankind as a whole as it is within living memory that most people would look at the moon and wonder if we would ever set foot upon it.
The rocket, the famous Saturn V (C-5), was 111 meters in length, had a weight of 2,950 metric tons, and generated a thrust of at least 34.02 MN (over 7,650,000 pounds) and could lift around 240,000 (240 tons) in to Low Earth Orbit and around 41,000 kg in to a lunar orbit. Each mission used a slightly different configuration depending on what was needed to be sent to the moon.
The rocket was conceptulaised by Werner Von Braun the ex German WW-II rocket designer who was responsible for the V2 rocket used by the Germans in the latter stages of the second world war. Von Braun also lead the design team.
So at 1.32pm today while having lunch, spare a thought for the start of the most momentus journey in the history of humankind. For some of us who are older the memory is etched in our minds forever.
Apollo 11 launch
Wide view from the gantry camera