Apollo 11 astronauts returning to launchpad 50 years later

History

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) — Apollo 11’s astronauts are returning to the exact spot from where they flew to the moon 50 years ago.

NASA has invited Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on Tuesday. They will mark the precise moment — 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969 — that their Saturn V rocket departed on humanity’s first moon landing. Mission commander Neil Armstrong — who took the first lunar footsteps — died in 2012.

In this July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, walks on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity. (Neil Armstrong/NASA via AP)

It kicks off eight days of golden anniversary celebrations for each day of Apollo 11’s voyage.

Also Tuesday morning, 5,000 model rockets are set to launch simultaneously at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. At the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, Armstrong’s newly restored spacesuit goes on display.

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