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Apollo 11 was the first human spaceflight to land on the Moon. The 1969 mission's wide effect on popular culture has resulted in numerous portrayals of Apollo 11 and its crew, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.
The mission was extensively covered in the press. Over 53 million households tuned in to watch this mission on TV, and an estimated 650 million viewers worldwide watched the Moon landing. This broke the previous record of the most viewers, and launched the Apollo 11 coverage to be the most watched TV programming up to that date.
The United States of America acknowledged the success of Apollo 11 with a national day of celebration on Monday, July 21, 1969. All but emergency and essential employees were allowed a paid day off from work, in both government and the private sector. The last time this had happened was the national day of mourning on Monday, November 25, 1963, to observe the state funeral of President John F. Kennedy, who had set the political goal to put a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s.
A replica of the footprint left by Neil Armstrong is located at Tranquillity Park in Houston, Texas. The park was dedicated in 1979, a decade after the first Moon landing. In 2019 Buzz Aldrin's well-known photograph of his own footprint was depicted on the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary commemorative coins.
Soon after the mission a conspiracy theory arose that the landing was a hoax, a theory widely discounted by historians and scientists. It may have gained more popularity after the 1978 film Capricorn One portrayed a fictional NASA attempt to fake a landing on Mars.
An urban legend suggests that they were being 'watched' while on the Moon and had seen alien vehicles in space. This grew in popularity after the book Somebody Else Is on the Moon was published. Aldrin did spot an unidentified object travelling relative to them late in the third day of the mission. After learning from Mission Control that it couldn't be the S-IVB stage, since that was 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km) away, they concluded that it was most likely one of four panels that had linked the spacecraft and the upper stage. Later popular accounts often described this as a "UFO sighting" or claimed the widely reported incident had been "covered up."
At age 76, astronaut Buzz Aldrin said in a television documentary, "There was something out there, close enough to be observed, and what could it be?... Now, obviously the three of us weren't going to blurt out, 'Hey, Houston, we've got something moving alongside of us and we don't know what it is', you know?... We knew that those transmissions would be heard by all sorts of people and somebody might have demanded we turn back because of aliens or whatever the reason is." They may have seen the Luna 15 spacecraft which the Soviet Union had launched at about the same time as Apollo 11.
There is a humorous and ribald urban legend that when Armstrong was a child, the wife of a neighbor named Gorsky, when asked by her husband to perform oral sex, had ridiculed him by saying "...when the kid next door walks on the Moon!" and then decades later whilst walking on the Moon Armstrong supposedly said "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky". In 1995 Armstrong said he first heard the story in California when comedian Buddy Hackett told it as a joke. It was humorously referenced in the opening scene of the 2009 film Watchmen. "Good Luck Mr Gorsky" is the title of a track on the 1996 album The It Girl by Britpop band Sleeper.
Some fictional works anticipated some aspects of the Apollo program despite being published well in advance of it.
In Jules Vernes' 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, the vehicle was launched from Florida, as were the Apollo missions. The fictional launch cannon was named Columbiad, similar to the Apollo 11 spacecraft Columbia. The novel included other similarities, including the weight and materials of the spacecraft, a crew of three men, and the mission ending in a splashdown, with retrieval by a United States Navy vessel. The similarities between Verne's fictional trip and that of Apollo 11 are noted in a historical marker in Titusville, Florida's Space View Park.
In the British science-fiction comic strip Jeff Hawke, the final panel of the November 21, 1959 strip depicted a plaque commemorating the first landing of a human on the Moon on August 4, 1969. The date is only two weeks after Apollo 11 landed on July 20, 1969.
In the 1963 science-fiction novel Apollo at Go, by Jeff Sutton, the plot involves a mission to land the first astronauts on the Moon. It correctly predicted that the US would be the first country to land on the Moon, that the Apollo program (established in 1961) would launch the mission with a Saturn V rocket, that the astronauts would land during July, 1969 (though on July 8 instead of July 20), and that the first mission would involve three astronauts, two to actually land on the Moon and one to pilot the command ship.