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Watch NASA’s rebroadcast of the Apollo 11 landing and moonwalk right here

Watch NASA’s rebroadcast of the Apollo 11 landing and moonwalk right here

Fifty years ago on Saturday, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans in history to set foot on the Moon, an event watched on television by half a billion people.

'I thought it was awesome.

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Aldrin showed Vice President Mike Pence the launch pad where he flew to the moon in 1969.

Pence says Apollo 11 is the only event of the 20th century that "stands a chance of being widely remembered in the 30th century". Not only was it an incredible time for the space program and the country as a whole, but we're also on the verge of new Moon exploration initiatives that could desperately use public support. In Armstrong's hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, runners competed in "Run to the Moon" races.

The Eagle lunar lander, carrying Armstrong and Aldrin, landed on the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969. Armstrong and Aldrin were "A1, No. 1, higher than major league", Aker recalled Saturday.

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin standing on moon.

Aldrin, now 89, groused that the USA has been lagging since those early Apollo missions, according to the Associated Press: "We have the number-one rocket right now in the USA and we have the number-one spacecraft, and they can not get into lunar orbit with significant maneuvering capability".

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At 5.44pm United Kingdom time on July 20th, the Apollo Lunar Module undocked from the Command Module and descended to the surface of the moon, where it landed in the Sea of Tranquility at 8.17pm. A little over six hours later, at 0256 GMT, Armstrong placed his left foot on the lunar surface, declaring: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".

"Similar to the 1960s, we too have an opportunity to take a giant leap forward for all of humanity", said Bridenstine.

About 100 visitors and staff at the American Space Museum in Titusville, across the Indian River from Kennedy, cheered and lifted plastic champagne glasses of Tang at the moment of touchdown.

NASA has declared its intention to return to the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis program - the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology - and this time place the first woman on its surface.

For the late-night crowd, "first step" concerts were on tap at the Kennedy Center in Washington, outside in the shadow of a replica Saturn V rocket in Huntsville, and other sweltering locales.

Tim Peake, astronaut at the European Space Agency (ESA) said: "The Apollo 11 lunar landing was humanity's most audacious mission and our greatest achievement". The three already living on the space station also were born long after the moon landings. Collins had, in a number of interviews leading up to the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, made similar statements calling on NASA go skip a lunar return in favor sending astronauts to Mars.


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