Cover of an official report on Apollo 11 by NASA illustrated with photographs from the landing on the lunar surface.

Lunar Landing: The 50 Year Anniversary

By Margaret Kaiser ~

Cover of an official report on Apollo 11 by NASA illustrated with photographs from the landing on the lunar surface.
Apollo 11 Preliminary Science Report, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1969
National Library of Medicine #100966259

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 crew members Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.  This mission was the fulfillment of the challenge President John F. Kennedy set for the nation in 1961 to land a man on the moon, and safely return him to Earth before the end of the decade.

Since its creation in 1958, NASA’s scientific and technological accomplishments have not only increased our knowledge of the universe but also led to much medical research and many improvements in life both on earth and in space. Today, NASA continues to fund and conduct cutting-edge research.

Among a wonderful collection of materials the National Library of Medicine acquired from NASA in 2014 are a number of reports including the Apollo 11 Preliminary Science Report (Washington D.C., 1969).  Studies on health and safety issues during long-duration missions in space, as well as materials on the International Space Station (ISS) are also included.  NIH and NASA have a history of collaboration which began in the Project Gemini era of early human spaceflight in the 1960s and continues today as we look for opportunities to encourage and facilitate space-related health research.

You can explore research funded by NASA in PubSpace a subset of PubMed Central, NLM’s full-text, online archive of journal literature. In our PubMed database, you can filter for space life sciences literature citations by using the term: space [sb]. Materials acquired by NLM from the NASA in 2014 can be accessed through the NLM holdings catalog LocatorPlus via a keyword search on “NASA Space Life and Physical Sciences Research Division”.

Iconic image of an astronaut in a space suit stands on the moon next to an American flag.
Photograph in Apollo 11 Preliminary Science Report, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1969
“The Eagle has landed.”
Neil Armstrong took the first steps from lunar module Eagle onto the moon’s surface and Buzz Aldrin followed about 20 minutes later. They explored the moon’s surface while Michael Collins remained with the command module in lunar orbit. They gathered samples of lunar-surface materials to bring back to earth and took photographs, using both still and motion picture cameras, of the lunar terrain, the equipment, and each other.
National Library of Medicine #100966259

Margaret Kaiser is Acquisitions Librarian for the Rare Books and Early Manuscripts Section in the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine.

5 comments

  1. Lots of information and articles relate to the two that landed on the moon but there, also, should bel detailed information of how important Michael Collins was, especially in the return trip back to the earth.

  2. Thank you, Margaret, for these fantastic resources. I love reading about space exploration and sharing the history with my students.

  3. its indeed beautiful to see how long we have come… Time to mark anniversary to mark first residential over mars… or I am super sounding futuristic… 😉

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