New Delhi: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is preparing for the celebrations of its 50th anniversary of the historic touchdown of Apollo 11 Moon mission on Friday, July 19.

The mission has also been honoured through a Google Doodle on Friday. The Doodle video has the voice of Michael Collins who was aboard the command module in lunar orbit when Armstrong and Aldrin set foot on the Moon.

50th Anniversary Celebrations

NASA has lined up a number of events to mark the historic achievement, that started on July 16 – the day the space mission with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins took off on the first journey to the Moon.

The events include a reflection on the launch where astronauts Buzz and Collins will discuss their journey in a question-answer session, a World Record Model Rocket launch attempt, a three-day seminar and exhibition on NASA’s newest innovations and technologies, a telecast of the Apollo heroes.

Following these, on July 20, the day the Eagle landed, there will be a whole slew of activities including a late-night event with films, music and activities to celebrate the moment when “First Man” Neil Armstrong took his famous giant step, and said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

View the full schedule here

The historic mission

The Moon has always found its due place in poetry, astrology, myths and more and man has tried to understand it since the very beginning. These notions and beliefs were finally set aside with facts when man started conducting its lunar-based missions.

On July 16, 1969, the three astronauts lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the first successful journey to the Moon. Four days later on July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin made their historic landing of the Apollo 11’s lunar module exclaiming “The Eagle has landed”.

The Apollo 11 mission took place eight years after President John F. Kennedy had announced a national goal of landing on the moon by the end of the 1960s.

The final manned mission on Moon, Apollo 17, took place in 1972.