The Latest: Pence marks Apollo 11 anniversary at launch site
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing (all times local):
Vice President Mike Pence is marking the 50th anniversary of humanity’s first moon landing at the Apollo 11 launch site.
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin accompanied Pence to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Saturday and showed him the pad where he began that momentous journey 50 years ago. Aldrin later got a standing ovation during a speech by Pence.
Mission commander Neil Armstrong, the first man to step onto the moon on July 20, 1969, died seven years ago. Command module pilot Michael Collins did not attend the Florida celebration.
Pence says Apollo 11 is the only event of the 20th century that “stands a chance of being widely remembered in the 30th century.” The vice president reiterated the Trump administration’s push to put Americans back on the moon by 2024.
The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing is drawing crowds to the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
The spacecraft that carried the three-man crew to the moon and back to Earth is on display at the museum, part of a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
The Seattle museum added its own artifacts and some from private collections, including engine parts from Apollo missions that were salvaged from deep in the Atlantic by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
First in line Saturday was computer programmer Tim Turner. He remembers watching the first footsteps on the moon on a black-and-white TV with his family in Tennessee. He said Apollo 11’s feat is “still amazing.”
The golden anniversary is being celebrated at events across the country.
Celebrations are in full swing across the country for the 50th anniversary of humanity’s first footsteps on another world.
Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. Armstrong was the first one out, proclaiming: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, cars were backed up for miles Saturday morning outside the visitor complex. In Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, runners competed in “Run to the Moon” races.
The White House reiterated its goal to send astronauts back to the moon and “take the next giant leap — sending Americans to Mars.” Vice President Mike Pence headed to Kennedy to tour the Apollo 11 launch pad and give a speech.