The front of the coin says “MERCURY,” “GEMINI,” and “APOLLO,” separated by phases of the Moon. The main image is a footprint on the Moon’s surface, which altogether represent America’s efforts leading up to the first manned Moon landing. On the coin’s reverse, a representation of Neil Armstrong's famous photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon is displayed. Plus, your new coin comes in an attractive display case!
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy challenged American scientists to land a man on the Moon. While Kennedy did not live to see his vision realized, it was accomplished in just eight years.
Fittingly, Apollo 11 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969. Among the items astronaut Neil Armstrong carried with him was a piece of wood from the Wright brothers’ 1903 plane, to show how far aviation had advanced.
On July 20, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the lunar surface while Michael Collins orbited the Moon. Back on Earth, a record 600 million people watched as Armstrong took the first steps on the Moon. As Armstrong stepped out of the Apollo 11 lunar module, the Eagle, he spoke the famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Later, Armstrong commented to Aldrin, “It has a stark beauty all its own. It’s like much of the high desert in the United States. It’s different, but it’s pretty out here.”
In addition to collecting samples, setting up equipment, and conducting experiments, the astronauts left behind a plaque that read, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” After returning to Earth, they were honored with parades, a world tour, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The mission has also been honored on several US stamps and coins.
The Moon landing was a pivotal event of the century. It was a major technological feat and ushered in a new era in space cooperation in which the US collaborated with Space Race rivals, the Soviet Union.