Apollo 11's 40th anniversary is this week, so we've taken a look at several sites that will help you remember and honor the historic event.
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Forty years ago this Thursday, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins lifted off on their historic mission to the moon. It was the first manned spaceflight to reach the lunar surface, and on July 20, 1969, first Armstrong then Aldrin became the first people to step onto the moon. (Collins stayed in orbit around the moon for the 21 or so hours that the other two were on the surface.)
Today, the Web is home to a variety of sites that remember the historic mission to the moon. If you're looking to remember Apollo 11, take a look at these resources.
Remembering Apollo 11
Apollo 11: The Game Apollo 11: The Game puts you in the cockpit of the Lunar Lander. The iPhone app lets you start out blasting off into space. From there, you'll need to make your way to the moon, land on the lunar surface, and get back to Earth safely.
In order to complete your mission, you'll need to beat all seven levels. I haven't played the game, so I don't know how good it is. But if you want to feel like you're part of the crew, it might be worth paying $3.99 to have it.
Apollo 11 The Apollo 11 group on Facebook is ideal for those looking to discuss Apollo 11 on the popular social network. The group doesn't have many members--as of this writing, there are just 432 users--but it makes up for that with a handful of links that provide even more information on the Apollo 11 mission. The group would be better with more members, but it's the biggest Facebook group dedicated to the mission, so if you want to connect with like-minded people, it's a group to join.
Apollo 40th anniversary NASA's Apollo 40th anniversary page has a variety of cool resources that will teach you about the historic mission.
When you first get to the page, you'll find a brief history of the events surrounding the mission. You'll also find a listing of anniversary events. To supplement its own coverage, NASA has also posted several videos of user-generated videos detailing their impressions of the lunar landing and why it was so important to them. If you know the history and want something else, NASA's Apollo 40th Anniversary is the site to check out.
ApolloPlus40 If you're a Twitter user, you should follow ApolloPlus40. Instead of providing interactive information like many of the services in this roundup do, ApolloPlus40 updates its timeline with all the events that happened exactly 40 years ago. As each event passes, the ApolloPlus40 account will update you on what's happening. It's like a real-time news report, forty years later, on Twitter.
Google Moon Google Moon is a great place to learn about the moon, but its Apollo 11 markers are even better.
When you search for Apollo 11 on Google Moon, you'll find basic information such as the astronauts' biographies. But once you zoom in on the spot where they landed, you'll find an additional 18 landmarks that plot everything from where the camera was placed, to where the astronaut footprints were left, to where the Lunar Module is. It also has images of all the landmarks. It's a great way to learn more about Apollo 11.
Lunar Science Institute The Lunar Science Institute from NASA is definitely worth checking out, if you're interested in learning more about the moon. The site details all the Apollo missions that landed on the moon and then takes a look at what we've learned from all those missions. It also lets you view images taken from the moon by Apollo astronauts and with the Lunar Orbiter. I was impressed by the amount of information the site has.
NASA Apollo History If you're looking to learn all about the Apollo 11 mission, you'll be happy to know that NASA Apollo History page will provide some of the best detail in this roundup. In fact, you'll learn about the mission's special events down to the minute.
If you're looking for other content, you'll find video and audio from the event. NASA has also posted a mission log, detailing all the events of the trip to the moon. You'll even find a detailed document on the moon's landscape. It's an extremely informative page.
Smithsonian Apollo program The Smithsonian Apollo program page is a great way to learn about the mission. The site walks you through the goal of the program, the lives of the astronauts, and the facts that matter most to those trying to learn about Apollo 11. The site even has audio and video of all the major events. The site is informative and worth checking out.
We Choose the Moon The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum's We Choose the Moon is an interactive site that tells you everything you want to know about the Apollo 11 mission. To the left of the screen, you'll find the status of the mission. As of this writing, it's displaying a countdown until the mission launch, as if today were 40 years ago.
We Choose the Moon lets you click on different parts of the rocket and view pictures from the period. You'll find a variety of great pictures. If you want to follow the mission, the site displays a Mission Tracker providing in-depth details about each stage of the trip to the moon. The site even has a simulated "live" stream of the Apollo 11 events that unfolded. It's an extremely informative site. Definitely check it out.
My top 3
1. We Choose the Moon: The interactive site is second to none when it comes to learning.
2. NASA Apollo History: With so many great features, the NASA Apollo History page is worth checking out.
3. Google Moon: Google Moon is unique and well worth your time. It's great.
Correction, 2:50 p.m. PDT:This story initially gave an incorrect date for the moon landing and misstated who stepped on the moon, and in what order.