According to NASA, the crew of Apollo 11, which included Neil Armstrong, went to the moon to meet a goal set by President Kennedy. The crew were also on a scientific mission to gather samples from the moon.
Tension between the United States and Russia influenced President Kennedy to issue an order to NASA to beat the Russians to the moon. Armstrong was one of three crew members on board the flight, which took 102 hours and 45 minutes. Buzz Aldrin and Armstrong spent a little over 21 hours on the lunar surface gathering samples and taking photographs in the Sea of Tranquility.