Yesterday (July 16, 2019) the European Space Agency (ESA) released this image to mark 50 years since Apollo 11 blasted off with the first humans to walk on the moon. ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite captured this image of the historic launch site at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on January 29, 2019.
On July 16, 1969, the Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 11 began humanity’s journey to the moon. It lifted off from launch pad 39A – which is the second pad down from the top in the image. ESA said in an accompanying statement:
The crew – Neil Armstrong, mission commander, Michael Collins, command module pilot and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, lunar module pilot – were embarking on a milestone in human history.
Just four days later, the lunar module, the Eagle, touched down. Watched on television by millions around the world, Neil Armstrong was the first to set foot on the moon, famously saying, ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’
Bottom line: Satellite image of Apollo 11 mission launchpad.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.