Dr. Wernher von Braun, director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight center (MSFC), appears proud as he pauses in front of the mobile launcher and base of the Saturn V rocket (AS-506) being readied for the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The Saturn V vehicle was developed by MSFC under the direction of Dr. von Braun. The Apollo 11 mission launched from KSC in Florida via the MSFC developed Saturn V launch vehicle on July 16, 1969 and safely returned to Earth on July 24, 1969. Aboard the space craft were astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, Command Module (CM) pilot; and Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module (LM) pilot. The CM, ?Columbia?, piloted by Collins, remained in a parking orbit around the Moon while the LM, ?Eagle??, carrying astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin, landed on the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong was the first human to ever stand on the lunar surface, followed by Aldrin. During 2_ hours of surface exploration, the crew collected 47 pounds of lunar surface material for analysis back on Earth. With the success of Apollo 11, the national objective to land men on the Moon and return them safely to Earth had been accomplished.