Next Friday, July 19, NASA will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon in the historic Apollo 11 Moon mission with a live, two-hour television broadcast, alongside brimming partner-led events taking place across the entire country from July 16 to July 20.

The upcoming broadcast is also going to feature a look into the future of exploration on the Moon and Mars.

On July 16, 1969 at 9:32 a.m. EST, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins broke barriers when they were launched by a Saturn V rocket — a 363-foot and 7.5 million-pound rocket — from Launch Complex 39A at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

As people watched the historic event, the whole country was filled with anticipation and uncertainty. Four days later, with more than half a billion people watching on television, Armstrong climbed down the ladder and took his famous first steps on the Moon.

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” Neil Armstrong was famously quoted to have said during the historic human landing.

When the Apollo program was first announced in 1960, the original goal was to send a crew to the Moon’s orbit. But President John F. Kennedy wanted much more for human space exploration.

“We choose to go to the Moon!” President Kennedy said in a speech, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.”

The team left behind an American flag, a patch honoring the fallen Apollo 1 crew and a plaque on one of Eagle’s legs that read, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."

In a press conference, Armstrong called the mission “a beginning of a new age.”

Years and years later, more and more astronauts followed in their footsteps. New and astonishing discoveries about space unfolded, as well.

A footprint left in the lunar soil during Apollo 11, when humans walked on the moon for the first time. NASA/JSC