The first men on the Moon
An old dream came true on 21 July 1969, when the two American astronauts, Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, became the first men to set foot on the Moon. Read some of their remarks on that historic occasion.
Armstrong: Okay, Houston*, I'm on the porch.
Houston: Roger, Neil.
Aldrin: Halt where you are a minute, Neil.
Aldrin: Everything's nice and straight in here.
Armstrong: Okay, can you pull the door open a little more?
Houston: We're getting a picture on the TV.
Aldrin: You've got a good picture, huh?
Houston: There's a great deal of contrast in it and currently it's upside down on monitor. But we can make out a fair amount of detail.
Armstrong: Okay, will you verify the position, the opening I ought to have on the camera.
Houston: The what? We can see you coming down the ladder now.
Armstrong: I'm at the foot of the ladder. The LM** footpads are only depressed in the surface about one or two inches, although the surface appears to be very, very fine-grained as you get close to it. It's almost like a powder. It's very fine. I'm going to step off the LM now. That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. The surface is fine and powdery. I can pick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers like powdered charcoal to the sole and the sides of my boots. I only go in a small fraction of an inch , maybe an eighth of an inch , but I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine sandy particles. ... Actually no trouble to walk around. It's quite dark here in the shadow and a little hard for me to see if I have good footing. I'll work my way over into the sunlight here without looking directly into the sun. Looking up at the LM, I'm standing directly in the shadow now looking up at ... in the windows and I can see everything quite clearly. The light is sufficiently brightly backlighted into the front of the LM that everything is clearly visible. I'll step out and take some of my first pictures here.
Aldrin: Are you going to get the contingency sample? Okay. That's good.
Armstrong: The contingency sample is down and it's up. Like it's a little difficult to dig through the crust. It's very interesting. It's a very soft surface but here and there where I plug with the contingency sample collector I run into very hard surface but it appears to be very cohesive material of the same sort. I'll try to get a rock in here.
Houston: Oh, that looks beautiful from here, Neil.
Armstrong: It has a stark beauty all its own . It's like much of the high desert of the United States. It's different but it's very pretty out here. Be advised that a lot of the rock samples out here, the hard rock samples have what appears to be vesicles in the surface.
Aldrin: Ready for me to come out?
Armstrong: Yeah. Just stand by a second, I'll move this over the handrail.
Armstrong: All right, that's got it. Are you ready?
Aldrin: All set. ... How far are my feet from the ...
Armstrong: You're right at the edge of the porch.
Aldrin: Small little foot movement. Porch. Arching of the back ... without any trouble at all. Now I want to back up and partially close the hatch making sure not to lock it on my way out.
Armstrong: Good thought ...
Aldrin: That's our home for the next couple of hours; we want to take care of it. I'm on the top step. It's a very simple matter to hop down from one step to the next.
Armstrong: Yes, I found that to be very comfortable, and walking is also very comfortable, Houston. You've got three more steps and then a long one.
Aldrin: I'm going to leave that one foot up there and both hands down to about the fourth rung up.
Armstrong: A little more. About another inch. There you got it. That's a good step.
Aldrin: About a three footer. Beautiful view.
Armstrong: Ain't that somethin'?