50 years ago, humanity's first steps on another world

phys.org | 7/20/1969 | Staff
TitanSwimr (Posted by) Level 3
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Fifty years ago on Saturday, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans in history to set foot on the Moon, an event watched on television by half a billion people.

Their lunar module, named "Eagle," touched down at 2018 GMT (4:18pm ET) on July 20, 1969.

Hours - GMT - Armstrong - Foot - Lunar

A little over six hours later, at 0256 GMT, Armstrong placed his left foot on the lunar surface, declaring: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

NASA has been in overdrive for several weeks to mark the anniversary, with exhibits and events nationwide but most notably at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Saturday - Vice - President - Mike - Pence

On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence is due to deliver a speech from the Kennedy Space Center, from where Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins, the third crew member took off. All three men were born in 1930.

Pence sent shockwaves through the industry in his last major space speech in March, when he advanced the deadline to return humans to the Moon by four years, from 2028 to 2024.

Context - President - Donald - Trump - NASA

It is within this charged context, with President Donald Trump publicly questioning NASA's plans to return to the Moon to test technology for Mars, that the US is celebrating the anniversary of the epoch-making Apollo 11 mission.

'World in my window'

Collins - Apollo - Veterans - Shares - Recollections

Collins, 88, has remained the more active of the surviving Apollo veterans, and frequently shares lyrical recollections of the mission.

Speaking at a Washington event on Thursday, he said that while the Moon itself was breathtaking seen up close, it was the view of Earth that has stayed with him and shaped his perspective.

Moon

"When we rolled out and looked at (the Moon), oh, it was...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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