Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon, died on August 25, 2012. In honor of his life and career, LIFE.com is republishing the page spreads — and, in effect, the entire issue — of LIFE magazine’s famous August 11, 1969, special edition, “To the Moon and Back.” For millions of people who witnessed the Apollo 11 mission, watching on television or following it on the radio as humanity improbably, marvelously, actually walked on the moon, the event perhaps did not feel quite real until, more than two weeks later, LIFE published its definitive account of the epic journey.
See the photos here on LIFE.com.

Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon, died on August 25, 2012. In honor of his life and career, LIFE.com is republishing the page spreads — and, in effect, the entire issue — of LIFE magazine’s famous August 11, 1969, special edition, “To the Moon and Back.” For millions of people who witnessed the Apollo 11 mission, watching on television or following it on the radio as humanity improbably, marvelously, actually walked on the moon, the event perhaps did not feel quite real until, more than two weeks later, LIFE published its definitive account of the epic journey.

See the photos here on LIFE.com.

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