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HONORING US MOON LANDING 42 YEARS AGO TODAY

 July 20, 2011


HONORING US MOON LANDING 42 YEARS AGO TODAY



                           Apollo 11 Patch
             Designed by Michael Collins
                                   NASA


*Today’s JFK+50 will devote the entire posting to this event.


“Fly me to the moon
 Let me swing among the stars
 Let me see what spring is like
 On Jupiter & Mars.”


“Fly Me to the Moon” written by Paul Francis Webster & Sonny Burke.
  
“Fly Me to the Moon” was 1st recorded in 1954 by Kaye Ballard.  The best known version, arranged by Quincy Jones, was recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1964.  Buzz Aldrin played it as he walked on the moon.



                  Nearside of the Moon 
   From Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter 
                     NASA Photo (2011)


July 20, 1969


THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, USA ON THE MOON


Mare Tranquillitatis, The Moon (JFK+50) In 1961, President John F. Kennedy pledged to the American people & to the people of the earth:


“This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon & returning him safely to the earth.”


Today, at 4:17:40 pm (EDT), the 1st part of JFK’s goal was achieved when Apollo 11’s  “Eagle” landed  on the moon’s surface with 2 American astronauts on board.*


*The 3rd astronaut, Michael Collins, was piloting the Columbia in lunar orbit.


After a touch & go descent, during which he had to take over manual control of the landing from the computer, Neil Armstrong reported:


“Houston. Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed.”*


*The Eagle became Tranquility Base upon landing on the moon’s surface.


Later, at 10:39 p.m (EDT), Armstrong opened the hatch & began his walk down the LM (Lunar Module) ladder.  He turned on the black & white TV camera attached to the LM & set his left foot on the lunar soil.


More than 500 million people (yours truly included) had their eyes glued to their TV screens across the globe.  As he made that historic step, Armstrong said:


“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”



Neil Armstrong Steps onto the Moon
      NASA Photo from TV Image
                    July 20, 1969


Apollo 11 Astronauts*


NEIL ARMSTRONG


Neil Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  He served in the US Navy, was in the Korean War, & later became a test pilot.


He joined the astronaut corps in 1962 & his 1st space flight was on Gemini 8 in 1966.


Neil Armstrong was Apollo 11 commander & the 1st person to walk on the moon.



                        Neil Armstrong
                           NASA Photo


EDWIN “BUZZ” ALDRIN


Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin was born in Montclair, New Jersey on January 20, 1930.


He is a graduate of West Point where he earned BS in mechanical engineering.


Aldrin served in Korea where he flew 66 combat missions.  He joined the astronaut program in 1963.*


*Aldrin, a Presbyterian, took communion on the lunar surface although he kept it a secret at the time.



               Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr.
                           NASA Photo


MICHAEL COLLINS


Michael Collins was born in Rome, Italy (the son of a US military officer) on October 31, 1930.


Collins attended West Point but then joined the US Air Force.


He was accepted to the astronaut program in 1963 & his 1st space flight was on Gemini 10.


Collins created the Apollo 11 patch & later when asked if he was lonely while in orbit around the moon, he said no, he felt…


“awareness, anticipation, satisfaction, confidence, almost exultation.”



                            Michael Collins
                                NASA Photo


*On August 7, 2009, by an act of the Congress of the United States, these 3 heroes were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.



           Aldrin, Collins & Armstrong
         with President Barack Obama
          The White House, Oval Office
                          July 20, 2009
                Photo by Bill Ingalls


President Richard M. Nixon


Richard M. Nixon, 37th President of the United States, watched the coverage of the lunar landing on television at the White House.


Mr. Nixon spoke directly with the astronauts from his telephone in the Oval Office which was linked to Houston.*


*In 1972, President Nixon approved the development of the Space Shuttle which in the morning is scheduled to officially end operations as the last shuttle returns to earth.






             Buzz Aldrin Steps Off LM
                        July 20, 1969
            Photo by Neil Armstrong
                        NASA Photo



                 Buzz Aldrin Salutes US Flag
                               July 20, 1969
                    Photo by Neil Armstrong
                                NASA Photo

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