On 20th July 1969, a man set foot on an extra-terrestrial surface for the very first time in history. This man was Neil Armstrong, and his words, "This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," became probably the most famous words of the Twentieth Century. It was announced in 1962 by the American president, John F. Kennedy, that the Americans would put a man on the Moon by the end of that decade. At the time, America was losing the Space Race against the Russians, who had launched rockets outside Earth's atmosphere and were the first to send people into space (Yuru Gagarin in 1961). After also sending the first man on a space walk in 1965 (Alexei Leonov was the first man to step out of a space craft in space), the Russians started losing the race. After many practice flights and orbits around the Moon from 1966, American astronauts were ready to walk on its surface in 1969.
Apollo 11 was the name of the first mission to land on the Moon. Neil Armstrong took the first step on the surface of the Moon, followed by Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. Their footsteps remain on the surface of the Moon now, and will remain there for millions of years. A few months after, Apollo 12 landed two more astronauts on the Moon on 14th November. Apollo 13 headed for the Moon, but an explosion on the space craft prevented the astronauts from being able to attempt a landing. Instead they had to battle against the odds to get back to Earth safely. After Apollo 13, four more missions landed men on the Moon, with Apollo 17 being the last on 7th December 1972. Since then, no man has set foot on the Moon.
From the Apollo missions, we discovered how the Moon's surface temperature can be extremely hot and extremely cold, depending on whether it is receiving sunlight or not. The Moon's surface is also dry and chalky. However, orange rocks on the surface provide evidence of volcanic activity once in the Moon's history. Most importantly, the Apollo missions proved that man can walk on another world, something that would have been unimaginable one hundred years earlier.
Below are some pictures taken during the Apollo missions to the Moon.
Finally, here's a picture of an astronaut with his pet dog on the Moon. I have a feeling that this isn't a genuine photograph!