Fifty years ago on July 20, 1969, astronauts from NASA’s Apollo 11 mission stepped foot on the moon. Today, you can relive the Apollo 11 journey from blast-off to re-entry in an epic video Doodle narrated by former astronaut and Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins.
Collins was one of three astronauts on the mission, along with Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. While Armstrong and Aldrin “frolicked” on the moon’s surface (Collins’ words, not ours!), he was the one who stayed behind in the command module, which would eventually bring all three astronauts back home to Earth. In the Doodle, you can hear him describe their “adventure,” beginning when a Saturn V rocket blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on July 16. Four days later, the lunar module, known as “the Eagle,” made its 13-minute journey to the “Sea of Tranquility” on the moon’s surface. And the rest, as they say, was history.
To create today’s Doodle, the team worked closely with NASA to understand the ins and outs of the mission and ensure the most accurate representation possible. In the Doodle, you can learn about the 400,000 people who worked on the Apollo project, the onboard computer, and the "barbecue roll" which was used to regulate the spacecraft’s temperature. Learn more about the process of creating the doodle in our behind-the-scenes video:
You can also see early storyboard sketches and concept art from Doodler Pedro Vergani:
The moon landing radically reshaped the way people thought about our world and what is possible. To this day, it is an inspiration for doers and dreamers around the globe—the very Earth that Collins describes in the Doodle as “the main show.” We hope today’s Doodle is a fitting tribute to this monumental human achievement. To quote Collins:
“We, you and me, the inhabitants of this wonderful Earth. We did it!"