It was originally intended to lift the command module
off the moon and return it to Earth.
Six hours later, Armstrong emerged, and one fifth of the world's population watched as a camera link beamed the image from the Eagle into lunar orbit, via the command module
to a satellite station in Australia, and then back to Houston, and around the world.
The crew planned to exit the command module
and re-enter earth using the lunar lander (nicknamed the vomit comet).
In addition to serving on the support crews of Apollo 8 (the first lunar orbit) and Apollo 11 (the first lunar landing), he served as the command module
pilot of Apollo 16, and was a key member of the fledging space shuttle program.
He was ready in case Apollo 11 astronauts failed to rejoin their command module
Launched on July 16, 1969, it carried Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module
Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr.
However, while Aldrin and Armstrong walked the lunar surface, command module
pilot Collins orbited above waiting to dock with the Eagle lunar lander.
Thompson's atmospheric engine V2 rocket engine Cooke & Wheatstone's five-needle telegraph Stephenson's Rocket Reynolds' X-ray set Model T Ford motor car Penicillin Pilot ACE (automatic computing engine) Crick & Watson's DNA model Apollo 10 command module
When Eagle ( Apollo's lunar module ( separated from the command module
Columbia at the far side of the moon, the world waited to see what would happen.
And the lunar command module
was built at the then North American Aviation facility in Downey.
Under contingency plans, if Armstrong and Aldrin's lunar module had not been able to blast off from the Moon's surface to hook up with the command module
in orbit on return, communications would have been cut and they would have been left either to commit suicide or die slowly.
The world watched 45 years ago as astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set their lunar module Eagle down in the Sea of Tranquility, while crewmate Michael Collins orbited above in the command module