First True Spacecraft
The Apollo Lunar Module (LM) was the first true spacecraft designed to carry men and operate solely in space. An engineering masterpiece, the craft had to withstand the rigors of launch atop the Saturn V rocket yet be as lightweight as possible. Docked with the Command Module/Service Module (SCM), the craft had to make the roughly 238,000 journey to the moon. Once in lunar orbit, the craft made the descent to the lunar surface with two men braking from initial speed over 3,000 MPH to a relatively gentle landing on the moon. During lunar exploration the craft provided shelter and life support for the men. One exploration duties were complete the ascent stage lifted off from the moon returning the astronauts to a rendezvous with the waiting CSM. This print release commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing by Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969. It shows the "Eagle" during its pitch-over maneuver during the descent to the lunar surface.