Fifty years after Apollo 11 lifted off, NASA prepares new Moon mission

50 years later surviving two astronauts of Apollo 11 mission to meet at launchpad

Buzz Aldrin Micheal Collins and Neil Armstrong. Image credit NASA

"There are significant opportunities for collaborations between the United Kingdom and U.S. over the next 50 years, and this statement of intent is a welcome step towards future missions". Collins remained in orbit in the command module throughout the mission.

Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin plant the United States flag on the lunar surface on 20 July 1969.

Washington's Smithsonian Air and Space Museum observed the day by unveiling a display featuring the restored space suit worn by Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon.

"These courageous men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery", the speech continued.

"Others will follow, and surely find their way home".

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The Apollo 11 crew traveled with white mice that would presumably serve as a warning signal if the crew had been infected by a mysterious space illnesses. "The men would either have to starve to death or commit suicide".

Safire noted that following the sombre address, the president had planned to give a modified burial to the astronauts at sea in a public ritual that commended their souls to "the deepest depths".

He witnessed the return of the Apollo 11 astronauts, and played a critical communications role, as the Apollo capsule deployed its chutes, and successfully splashed down.

Aboard the 363-foot spacecraft were three astronauts: Neil Armstrong, mission commander, Michael Collins, command module pilot and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, lunar module pilot.

Tributes: A patch from the Apollo 1 mission, commemorating the three astronauts who died when a fire broke out in the command module during a training exercise, was left on the moon as well as medals honoring the fallen Russian cosmonauts Vladimir Komarov and Yuri Gagarin.

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The first human steps were taken on the moon 50 years ago to the day on Saturday, and eight astronauts from NASA's Apollo program - including Buzz Aldrin - have been celebrating in the months and weeks leading up to the landmark day.

The last manned mission to the Moon was Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmitt, which touched down in the Taurus-Littrow valley on December 11, 1972.

However, the Apollo programme was cancelled, largely as a result of budgetary considerations, and these missions never got off the ground. NASA and the country are observing the anniversary of the historic journey.

The bill also contains a sense of Congress that the USA should negotiate a binding worldwide agreement to protect the Apollo 11 landing site and similar sites.

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