Who was the first man on the moon?

USA Today highlights historic moonwalk by astronaut-turned-UC professor

USA Today highlighted the short list of people, all American, who have set foot on the moon, including the first, who left NASA to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

Neil Armstrong was the first of just 12 people to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo missions between 1968 and 1972. An estimated 650 million people around the world watched as Armstrong took that historic first step with his famous line, “That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong and astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin spent 21 hours exploring the moon's surface, collecting moon rocks and taking photos while astronaut Michael Collins orbited in the command module above them.

NASA's Artemis missions in 2025 will send astronauts back to the moon for orbiting and eventual landing on the lunar south pole. The landing crew will include a Japanese astronaut. 

A rocket blasts off from a launchpad.

A Saturn V rocket takes off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission. Photo/NASA

Just 12 people have walked on the moon:

  • Neil Armstrong
  • Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin
  • Charles “Pete” Conrad
  • Alan Bean
  • Alan Shepard Jr.
  • Edgar Mitchell
  • David Scott
  • James Irwin
  • John Young
  • Charles Duke
  • Eugene Cernan
  • Harrison Schmitt

The astronauts of Apollo 11 spent eight days in space during their historic moon mission. Artemis 2 scheduled in 2025 will send four astronauts farther in space than anyone has ever traveled as they return to the moon for a wide orbit.

Artemis 3 will last a month, sending four astronauts back to the moon where they will dock with a new space station called Gateway. Two astronauts will land on the moon and spend seven days conducting science experiments.

Future Artemis missions will expand the moon's space station in preparation for more crewed missions.

Read the USA Today story.

Featured image at top: Neil Armstrong captures a selfie in the visor of astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon. Photo/NASA

Neil Armstrong, 1974

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science Professor Neil Armstrong teaches in his aerospace engineering classroom. Photo/UC Marketing + Brand

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