This month, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Programme’s first successful outer space launch. October 11, 1968 marks NASA’s first successful mission to space, Apollo 7. This was a ground-breaking flight with three courageous crew; Commander Walter Schirra Jr., Lunar module pilot Walter Cunningham and Command module pilot Donn Eisele.  The rocket, Saturn IB SA-205 launched from the Kennedy Space Centre, USA and orbited Earth 163 times, spending a total of 10 days and 20 hours in space.  

Between the Apollo 7 launch and the programme’s final Apollo 17 launch on December 7, 1972, NASA have sent a total of 33 astronauts into space on ten separate missions. What a time it was to be alive!

This, of course, includes the most famed mission of Apollo 11, on July 20, 1969 where NASA’s dream to land a man on the Moon came true. Crew members Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin Jr. and Michael Collins took on board one of the most dangerous missions in history. After dodging a lunar crater and boulder field in their pursuit of a safe touchdown, Neil Armstrong took his first step from the ladder of the ‘Eagle Lander’ to the Moon’s surface, famously declaring “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Over the next four years (October 2018 – December 2022), NASA are celebrating the span of the Apollo Programme. A timely celebration of this, comes the film First Man, the riveting story of Apollo 11. Exploring this momentous Moon landing mission through the eyes of Neil Armstrong, it offers a visceral account that explores the sacrifices and the cost – on Armstrong and the USA – of one of the most dangerous missions in history. Starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land) First Man is in cinemas October 11. We’re thrilled to have three double movie passes to give away to this fascinating film. Head to our Facebook page to be in in the draw to win.

To get ready for the 50th Anniversary Apollo celebrations, read more about the missions or watch the First Man trailer.

First Man is rated (M) offensive language