Wernher von Braun initially developed rockets for the United States Army, but was later made director of the Marshall Space Flight Center where he oversaw the design of the Saturn V rocket that launched the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon.

The flight lasted for 15 minutes and 22 seconds and reached a maximum altitude of 116 miles before returning to earth for splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

Shortly after midnight in Moscow, the Soviets became the first to successfully send a human-made object to the Moon.