NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Apollo 11 recovery. Rescue helicopter flies over the Apollo 11 spacecraft seconds after it splashed down in the sea after returning from the first manned mission to land on the Moon on 20 July 1969. The cone-shaped command module floated with its apex pointed downwards until inflatable airbags repositioned it with apex pointing upwards shortly after this photograph was taken. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins & Edwin Aldrin were then able to leave the spacecraft. Apollo 11 returned to Earth on 24 July 1969 about 1500 kilometres southwest of Hawaii and only 22 kilometres from a waiting recovery ship.
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