Nation celebrates 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

National

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (AP) – 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 launchpad and give a speech.

Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins reunited Friday in the Oval Office with President Trump. There, the Trump Administration’s plans to revitalize space exploration were discussed.

President Trump plans on getting astronauts back on the moon by 2024 and then on to Mars in the 2030s.

“We’re bringing the glamour back” to the space program, Trump said.

Both sons of the late Neil Armstrong, the first man to step onto the moon on July 20, 1969, also attended, as well as first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

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