World celebrates 50 years of Apollo 11 touchdown at Moon

Alonzo Simpson
July 21, 2019

"Looking back, landing on the moon wasn't just our job, it was a historic opportunity to prove to the world America's can-do spirit", Aldrin, 89, tweeted before joining Vice President Mike Pence on a flight to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

During a speech, Pence announced the completion of NASA's Orion crew capsule for the first Artemis lunar mission.

It's 50 years since the world took one giant leap for mankind - and stepped out on the surface of the moon.

Collins, 88, who stayed in the command module while Aldrin and Armstrong descended to the moon, told Trump he supported going directly to Mars.

"Apollo 11 is the only event in the 20th century that stands a chance of being widely remembered in the 30th century", Pence said.

By some stroke of unbelievable luck for the TV industry (or maybe it was planned this way-how's that for a conspiracy theory?), the Moon landing's 50th anniversary falls on a Saturday, meaning couch potatoes can spend the entire day gorging on Apollo-related Event TV.

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At the Kennedy Space Centre cars were backed up for miles Saturday outside the visitor complex. And in Armstrong's hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, almost 2,000 runners competed in "Run to the Moon" races.

Armstrong, the first man on the moon, died in 2012 at age 82. Through Artemis, the agency will establish a sustainable human presence at the Moon by 2028 to continue scientific research and discovery, demonstrate new technologies, and lay the foundation for future missions to Mars. Before going to the Operations and Checkout Building, the Vice President, Aldrin and Armstrong visited Kennedys historic launch pad, 39A, where the Apollo 11 mission lifted off. I'll be walking along down my street at night when it's starting to get dark and I sense something over my right shoulder and I look up and see that little silver sliver up there and think, 'Oh that's the Moon!

Blasting off aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket in 100-degree heat (38 degrees Celsius), American Andrew Morgan, Italian Luca Parmitano and Russian Alexander Skvortsov flew to the International Space Station.

Both astronauts and the Armstrong family met with Trump in the Oval Office on Friday, with Collins pushing for a direct mission to Mars and skipping the moon, and Aldrin expressing dismay at the past few decades of human space exploration.

For the time being the spacecraft landed, Apollo 11 commander Armstrong mentioned: "Houston, Tranquility Imperfect here".

Media captionRelive the worrying 13 minutes earlier than the landing, as Neil Armstrong manually pilots the lunar module in direction of the outside of the Moon. Morgan explained in a NASA interview that Apollo 11, and now his flight, represents "an accomplishment of the world and not one single country".

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