On July 20, 1969, hundreds of thousands of individuals world wide watched on TV as Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong took his historic step into the pages of historical past.
A wide ranging achievement, the mission delivered on President Kennedy’s 1961 promise to land an American on the Moon by the tip of that decade. With the American Flag flying proudly on the Sea of Tranquility, the U.S. had lastly received its house race with the Soviet Union.
The Moon touchdown was additionally a really international occasion. An estimated 650 million individuals world wide watched the Moon touchdown on TV, based on NASA.
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Occasions had been held throughout the globe to have fun the 50th anniversary of the Moon touchdown. European House Company astronaut Alexander Gerst, for instance, attended an occasion at Planetarium Berlin.
The Parkes Radio telescope in Australia, which was certainly one of three monitoring stations that acquired the Moon touchdown broadcast, commemorated the unbelievable occasions of July 20, 1969.
In London, the Science Museum is celebrating Apollo 11 with a summerlong competition of house.
Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, attended an occasion on the White Home Friday to commemorate the epic mission. Relations of Armstrong, who handed away in 2012, had been additionally current.
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“Tomorrow will symbolize 50 years from the time we planted a lovely American flag on the moon,” mentioned President Donald Trump. The Moon touchdown, he added, is “thought of one of many nice achievements ever.”
“50 years in the past historical past was made when three American astronauts landed on the moon!,” tweeted Vice President Mike Pence, who’s chairman of the nationwide house council.
50 YEARS AFTER APOLLO 11, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S SONS DESCRIBE THE DAY THEIR DAD WALKED ON THE MOON
Aldrin, nonetheless, voiced his disappointment over America’s house progress because the days of Apollo 11.
50 years later, Armstrong’s well-known first steps on the lunar floor stay the enduring second of the Apollo missions.
Roughly 234,000 miles away, his sons Mark and Rick had been at house in Houston, watching on TV, as their father made historical past.
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Rick was 12 years outdated when his father stepped out of the Eagle lunar module and proclaimed “One small step for a person, one big leap for mankind.”
“When he stepped off, no one within the room heard what the phrases had been as a result of they had been all ‘what did he say?’” Rick advised Fox Information, in a current interview. “I heard it, and I mentioned ‘one thing a couple of small step,’ however on the time, it wasn’t in any respect clear what was occurring, I at all times do not forget that.”
Collins orbited the Moon within the Columbia Command Module whereas Armstrong and Aldrin explored the lunar floor. “Being near the Moon was fantastic, however taking a look at Earth, it was this tiny little factor, blue and white and really shiny,” he advised Fox Information, in a current interview. “It projected an aura of nice fragility and the extra you dig into it, the extra you notice how fragile it truly is.”
APOLLO 11’S MICHAEL COLLINS REFLECTS ON HISTORIC MOON LANDING: ‘WE WERE JUST REGULAR ASTRONAUTS’
After Armstrong and Aldrin, solely 10 extra males, all Individuals, would stroll on the Moon. The final NASA astronaut to set foot on the lunar floor was Apollo 17 Mission Commander Gene Cernan on Dec. 14, 1972.
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Make sure you catch the America’s Information HQ Apollo 11 50th anniversary particular on Fox Information on Saturday, July 20 at 12 PM EDT.
Fox Information’ Chris Ciaccia contributed to this text.
Observe James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers