The accident on the moon that nearly sabotaged historic landing

Neil Armstrong's backpack hit a switch needed to light the engine and broke it off; Mission Control had no solution but Buzz Aldrin had an idea.
3:31 | 07/16/19

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Transcript for The accident on the moon that nearly sabotaged historic landing
We are just back from Houston tonight where we broadcast from the Apollo eleven mission control last night I heard from so many of you at home on Twitter and on Easter Graham about what we saw in that room. It was fifty years ago today Apollo eleven lifted off on the way to that historic walk on the moon and tonight right here what we did not know. Right down to those famous words from Neil Armstrong. It was 15 years ago this morning 9:32 eastern Diehl Armstrong Buzz Aldrin Michael Collins taking off. Kennedy Space Center in. Towers 240000. Miles later they entered into the lunar orbiter he was the next daily Armstrong opened the hatch. Five hours ahead of schedule. It was 10:36 PM July 20 Armstrong stepped off the letter steps foot. But that famous quote. Was it really would Americans heard. Paul good. He later said his microphone and the radio transmission. Made it difficult to hear what he actually planned to sick. That's one small step for a man one giant leap for mankind. Buzz Aldrin who joined him on the moon nineteen minutes late. He took photographs rent scientific tests. When 11 in the morning July 21. All astronauts were back inside the hatch closed and he would sleep on the surface of the moon. In quite the Porter journey home if you remember that Aldridge back that if the engine army switch which was needed to light the engine and broken off. Aldrin then pulled at ten from the pocket and speaks and. So and I have pushed in Houston says oh we better. A good complete circle. He splashed into the Pacific at 12:50 PM July 24. It would be five more successful lunar landing missions and one looters when Apollo thirteen. The force that landing aborted. And now fifty years after the fall eleven. NASA plans to return to the moon and then Mars on the you'll Ryan spacecraft. Successfully testing just this month. New York with Glenn the senior project manager showing us the mobile launcher 400 feet tall. We're building a mobile launcher which will support the space launch system rocket and Orion spacecraft figures. Today first step we took me to moon NASA hopes it will happen in 20/20 four. And back in Houston flight director gene Krantz famously sack. Our favorite you want fifty years later there are now women. In the two top jobs as chief flight director and deputy chief flight director they are still fueled by debt moment when Neil Armstrong said the eagle has landed. That was an incredible moment that. I don't I help my generation get something like. And it was just a few years back Buzz Aldrin telling me they had actually put odds on their trip they knew we were risking their lives. What would the chances that you thought you were going to be able to successfully land on them. Good question so we figured it was rose 60%. And we did. Not bad at all these years later he told us he gives boys and girls with the same dream distance likes give it everything you've got. Give it everything you've got which is exactly what they did.

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

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