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article imageU.S Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Moon Landing

By Christopher Szabo     Jul 20, 2009 in Science
Forty years ago, the lunar lander, flown by Neil Armstrong and ”Buzz” Aldrin, left the lunar orbiter piloted by Michael Collins and landed on the moon, fulfilling an age-old dream of humans to actually visit another celestial body.
Mission commander Neil Armstrong, after announcing the ”Eagle,” the lander’s name, had landed, climbed down the ladder onto the surface of the moon, uttering the immortal words:
That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
AHN reported that the U.S. government and the space agency NASA began a week of celebration of the 40th anniversary of the momentous event by a visit to the Oval Office by Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins and NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden.
Obama, addressing the National Academy of Sciences, said:
The Apollo program itself produced technologies that have improved kidney dialysis and water purification systems, sensors to test for hazardous gasses, energy-saving building materials; and fire-resistant fabrics used by firefighters and soldiers. And, more broadly, the enormous investment of that era - in science and technology, in education and research funding - produced a great outpouring of curiosity and creativity, the benefits of which have been incalculable.
Along with the presidential reception, the astronauts will address issues surrounding the legacy of the space program and the future of space exploration.
The Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, where Apollo 11 blasted off into space, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, which acted as mission control and and Washington’s National Air and Space Museum will all hold celebrations throughout the week.
Buzz Aldrin  Michael Collins  Neil Armstrong and NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden
Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden
NASA/Bill Ingalls
John Logsdon, an aerospace expert at the Air and Space Museum said:
I think we are at an extremely critical juncture as we celebrate this anniversary because, we at least in the US are in the process of deciding... what is the future of humans in space. And without government funding nothing happens
Meanwhile Russia, China, India and Japan are improving and increasing their own space programs.
NASA plans to renew manned moon landings by 2020, but also has a project for a Mars landing.
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