Space History – Apollo 11 vs. Luna 15

July 13, 1969 – What you may not know about the First Moonlanding. We all remember the historic events of the first Moonlanding. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin made their way into the Apollo 11 Lunar Module EAGLE which would carry them to the surface of the Moon. Leaving astronaut Collins orbiting above in the Command Module COLUMBIA they descended, and landed in an area of the Moon called the Sea of Tranquility, and became the first men to walk on the lunar surface.

Luna Space craft (Image Credit: NASA)

Luna Space craft (Image Credit: NASA)

What you may not know is that at the exact same time, the Soviet space program had a different mission. They had launched an unmanned, soil-returning spacecraft towards the moon on July 13, 1969 – just three days before the launch of Apollo 11. In an attempt to steal some of Apollo 11’s thunder, the Luna 15 was intended to land on the Moon, collect lunar soil samples, and return them to the Earth before the Apollo 11 astronauts could return with their own samples. While the Apollo 11 astronauts were finishing their EVA on the Moon, Luna 15 encountered problems during its final descent to the surface of the Moon and crashed.

The race to the Moon ended with a punctuation mark, a silent “splat,” and a brand new crater in Mare Crisium (“Sea of Crisis”) which is northeast of Tranquility Base.


U.S. Space Shuttle Program Commemorative Coin
NASA’s Space Shuttle program will be coming to an end with the launch of the Shuttle Endeavour, currently scheduled for February 26, 2011. Our group is designing and developing The Space Shuttle Commemorative Coin. Follow and participate at, and click on the link to join the collaboration at our FaceBook site.

Ares I-X Rocket Medallion
Our most recent commemorative: Ares I-X “First Launch” medallion is available at To honor Ares’ Apollo roots, each medallion contains metal flown to the surface of the moon on Apollo 11.

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