Apollo 11 50th Anniversary: The lasting impact of landing on the moon

How Apollo 11 changed the course of human history.
3:33 | 07/17/19

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Transcript for Apollo 11 50th Anniversary: The lasting impact of landing on the moon
And polar Lander and more. All. Her are. I'm David Curley at the Smithsonian air and space museum where we are marking fifty years since man landed and walked on the moon in a Lander just like this one. Those five decades have given us plenty of time to think of the effects of Apollo not just on the US. But on mankind. All from a mission declared by a president in the midst of a Cold War. We should respect and the challenge to go to the moon in less than a decade made to an American space program that was struggling. And as Soviet Union was winning the race to space the first satellite the first humans in space that was Kennedy's motivation. We spoke with two historians with accounts of man landing on the moon. I think of it is a military mission. That we had to beat the Soviets because it wasn't just for global prestige. But to show the world that democracy. Was a more efficient form of government then and then Communists. And absent that we would not have been. Undertaking and have a mission like this that we did but that fueled the efforts to demonstrate our technological prowess. But the US didn't know how to get to the move didn't have a big enough rocket to get there. The cost 25 billion dollars controversial threw out the 1960s. That was up. A tumultuous. Couple would. Years in the late 1960s. Height of Vietnam and urban unrest civil unrest. And so forth. And for a very brief period of time in 69. Every reason to pause paid attention to its. Somewhere deep in the American DNA is this belief and pioneers here frontier spirit. You know about cowboys and explorer's. In Lewis and Clark. And space fulfilled that kind of remand sensation of the American sign deal all of these were space cowboys. An ideal realized on that summer day in 1969. Neil Armstrong's one of the most romanticize figures in American history and he was the least romantic of man he just was about. Mission accomplished. And I'm doing it for the sake of my country. From my government. For democracy. We did not become a space faring nation but the technology that took us to the moon. Is now in your pocket. NASA was the first great laboratory. For on the modern economy of today if if you're we you know it's the beginnings of the Internet began in 1969. The link between the tech revolution of the seventies. And NASA are are are are direct linkage. And that's the world we're limited today attain NASA Silicon Valley world. And quality very good. The ankle Atlanta's. The US putting a man on the moon just 25 years after. 500 years from now. If you think about the twentieth century this is one of two or three of the things that you think about. First step further bomb America. July 20 1969. When humans. Finally broke the shackles of birth. And were able to land the moon to me is just an epic moment in the in civilization. If Palin people all mankind.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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