Witness Apollo 11's perils and elation in 80 seconds | USA TODAY

Witness Apollo 11's perils and elation in 80 seconds | USA TODAY



As the Eagle descended toward the Sea of Tranquility, Buzz Aldrin saw something he’d never seen before: the shadow of the lunar module cast in front of them on the moon’s cratered surface.

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“That was new, not something we saw in the simulator,” he recalled on the eve of today’s 50th anniversary of the historic Saturn V launch that carried him, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins on a 238,000-mile journey to the moon.

“I saw dust creating a haze, not particles, but a haze that went out, dust the engine was picking up. The light turns on, I said ‘contact light,’ ‘engine stop,'” Aldrin said in a question-and-answer email sent to FLORIDA TODAY late Monday.

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