NASA Orion spacecraft’s crew module is ready for the next moon landing

The Eagle approaches the Moon and the Earth looms in the distance

Houston Astros Wear Apollo 11 Caps for 50th Anniversary

The building is now home to NASA's Orion crew capsule, the spacecraft created to carry astronauts back to the moon by 2024 in what Bridenstine calls the Artemis program, named after the Greek goddess and twin sister of Apollo.

Apollo 11 launched on July 16, and the rest is history, with Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touching down four days later before a two-hour moonwalk watched by hundreds of millions of people.

NASA replayed the original CBS footage online. "The Eagle has landed", Armstrong said. Armstrong was the first to step onto the lunar surface, proclaiming for the ages: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".

Aldrin followed about 20 minutes later, exclaiming: "Magnificent desolation".

A two-centimetre thick shield of silica aerogel - an ultralight material derived from a gel - would be effective in insulating the planet and melting ice beneath the surface for permanent water, scientists say. But Collins, attending the event, said he favored going directly to Mars. "There are just too many interesting things to do". Unfortunately, that first has yet to be repeated to prove that it isn't just a one-time thing. Collins orbited the moon alone in Columbia, as Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the gray, desolate surface.

All three men were born in 1930, and Armstrong died in 2012.

Apollo 11, he said, "is the only event in the 20th century that stands a chance of being widely remembered in the 30th century". According to NASA, during his visit, the Vice President would recognize the success of Apollo 11 and address progress in NASA's return to the Moon with the upcoming Artemis missions. None of the key elements - the rocket, crew capsule, lander, or orbital station - are yet ready.

Meanwhile, NASA's Commercial Crew program with SpaceX and Boeing to build astronaut capsules endeavors to allow the again begin sending astronauts from American soil to space - something pointedly referred to in Pence's remarks. The vehicle is scheduled to perform the test next year as one of the precursors to the moon landing, a mission estimated to cost a total of $20-30 billion.

NASA also released stunning images from the Apollo landing sites on the Moon for a 50th anniversary reminder of what the 12 humans who walked on its surface experience visually.

In a speech at Kennedy, Pence paid tribute to Armstrong, Aldrin and command module pilot Michael Collins - if they're not heroes, "then there are no heroes" - as well as the 400,000 Americans who worked tirelessly to get them to the moon.

Europe is to launch a spacecraft to the Moon as it seeks to become a contender in the new space race that has taken off 50 years after the historic United States lunar mission. I'll be walking along down my street at night, when it's starting to get dark and I sense something over my right shoulder and I look up and see that little silver sliver up there and think, 'Oh that's the Moon!

About 100 visitors and staff at the American Space Museum in Titusville, across the Indian River from Kennedy, cheered and lifted plastic champagne cups of Tang at precisely 4:17 p.m.

Both presidents George HW Bush and his son George W. Bush made similar promises but financial constraints stopped their vision from being realized.

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