July 20, 1969: Moon Landing Anniversary

July 20, 1969: Moon Landing Anniversary

Fifty years ago on July 20, 1969, a tiny space capsule containing two American men landed on the moon. Six hours later, the world watched as astronaut Neil Armstrong set his lunar-boot-clad foot onto the moon’s surface. No one alive at the time can forget that live broadcast, the astronauts’ jerky, bouncing movements, their crackling static-y voices and the mind-boggling knowledge that right that very moment, people were walking on our moon.

Racing into SpaceIt seemed like the culmination and crowning glory of the Space Race, and it seemed that the U.S. had won. Even though a Soviet craft got there first, crash-landing the Luna 2 on the surface ten years earlier and peppering some of the craters with stainless steel USSR emblems, the U.S. space program had successfully landed the first humans, and brought them back again.

MIR travelers witness the launch of a Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur, Kazakhstan Photo credit: Douglas Grimes

MIR travelers witness the launch of a Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur, Kazakhstan
Photo credit: Douglas Grimes

Rocketing into Space50 years later, it’s the Russian space program that launches people up to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Russian space facility in Kazakhstan, Baikonur Cosmodrome. Its Soyuz rockets have been singlehandedly flying scientists, cosmonauts and even space tourists to the ISS since 2011, when NASA’s last space shuttle, Atlantis, retired.

NASA is currently evaluating new designs for the shuttle’s successor space vehicle. Private companies are scrambling to enter the field of space flight. But for now the Soyuz is the only game in town.

Rollout of the Soyuz, Inside the Russian Space Program. Photo credit: Douglas Grimes

Rollout of the Soyuz, Inside the Russian Space Program
Photo: Douglas Grimes

Travel to the Soviet Space Facility with MIR

MIR has over 30 years of travel experience in Russia, with affiliate offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Siberia offering on-the-ground support, and tour managers that clients rave about. Our full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”

You can see a Soyuz launch up close on MIR’s Inside the Russian Space Program, enjoying unparalleled access to VIP viewing areas and briefing sessions in Baikonur and the opportunity to train like a cosmonaut in Moscow (more info).

Chat with one of our destination specialists by email or by phone at 1-800-424-7289 to start planning your travels today.

The Soyuz prepares for launch at BaikonurPhoto: Christopher Prentiss Michel

The Soyuz is prepared for launch at Baikonur
Photo: Christopher Prentiss Michel

 (Top photo credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Here astronaut Neil Armstrong steps on the moon.)

PUBLISHED: July 18, 2014

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