The seed was sown in July 1960. With the first man in space almost a year away, and the Mercury program still running three years to run, NASA's Space Task Group (STG) set in motion an ambitious task – a spacecraft big enough and complex enough to carry three astronauts in orbit around the Earth.
It should, if necessary, be able to carry out an even more impressive feat: fly in orbit around the Moon and launch a lander that would allow humanity to step
Launched with a historical fanfare in May 1961, the Apollo Program became Nasa's most famous project – a multi-billion-dollar epic of industry and logistics, involving hundreds of thousands of workers and, at the sharp end, 33 astronauts chosen to leave behind the comforts of the only home of humanity.
Next month marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo's greatest triumph ̵
It will take in everything from the money the astronauts were paid , to the number of workers who helped make the entire operation possible;
Join now more than one million Future fans by liking us from the distance driven on the Moon, to the number of women in Launch Control as Armstrong and Aldrin left the Earth on behalf of all mankind. on or follow us on Twitter or Instagram . the weekly bbc.com features newsletter called "If You Only Read 6 Things This Week". A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Capital, and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday