The power of one Saturn V was enough to place in Earth’s orbit all of the US manned spacecraft launched before the Apollo program.

30% - 60%

Lunar soil is composed of approximately 30 to 60 percent glass, which is one reason why the Moon reflects so much light and is brilliant in our night sky.

600 million

An estimated 600 million people watched the Apollo 11 landing live on television, setting a new world record.


The Apollo 11 mission was a 480,000-mile (772,485-km) trip.


The astronauts traveled at a speed of 24,000 miles per hour (38,624 km/h).

July 20, 1969

The Apollo’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969.


In total, 17 Apollo missions were flown in the 1960s and 1970s. They carried a total of 12 astronauts to the Moon and back.


IBM built 27 instrument units in its Huntsville, Alabama, location. They were designed to help guide the Saturn V rocket that sent Apollo astronauts to the Moon.


After returning to Earth, astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were all placed in quarantine for three weeks before it was determined they did not bring back deadly pathogens from the Moon.


Steven Smith's astronaut shot

Steve Smith, astronaut on the February 1997 launch of the STS-82 Discovery, started his career as an IBMer. On this flight—his second of four missions—Smith performed three spacewalks to service the Hubble Space Telescope. On one trip into space, Steve carried with him an IBM banner.

The Apollo 11 lunar landing was an international spectacle. Millions tuned in to watch the events unfold on television. At the time, the world was abuzz with talk of landing on the Moon and the possibilities of space travel. Today, the Apollo 11 mission is ingrained in humankind’s collective memory and an unforgettable moment in the world’s culture. It was, and forever will be, a testament to what can be achieved through science, engineering and a will to achieve the impossible.

Screengrab of Facebook's Apollo 11 page
Apollo 11 on Facebook

Today’s fans of the Apollo 11 Moon shot can gather on the Internet at the popular social networking website Facebook to share memories, perspectives and thoughts on this momentous achievement.

Apollo 11 disc says From Planet Earth July 1969
Apollo 11 goodwill messages

When the astronauts of Apollo 11 left Earth, they carried with them an artifact that embodied the global excitement and international pride associated with sending the first human to the Moon. Leaders from 73 countries contributed messages of goodwill that would be contained inside the small silicon disk. Left on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility by the Apollo 11 crew, the disk bears the inscription “From Planet Earth—July 1969” on its rim.

NASA Letter head addressed to Mr. Thomas J. Watson, Chairman of the board
A very important congratulations

On August 8, 1969, George Mueller, associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Manned Space Flight, sent T. J. Watson Jr. a note congratulating IBMers for their efforts that helped put a person on the Moon. In it, Mueller expresses his gratitude for IBM’s dedication, perseverance and vision.

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