Published: Tue, July 23, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

DeSantis, Pence Mark 50th Anniversary Of Apollo 11 Mission

DeSantis, Pence Mark 50th Anniversary Of Apollo 11 Mission

The spacecraft was now unpowered and travelling up Earth's gravity well, decelerating all the way until it got close enough to the Moon for the Moon's own gravity to take over and accelerate the craft towards it.

Mr Trump instead repeated his interest in a NASA mission that would take astronauts directly to Mars, a vastly more challenging and costly endeavour.

The news came on the day when India launched its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, to explore and perform studies on the south pole region of the Moon. NASA has received the mandate, not to mention the budget, to do exactly that and on the anniversary of the Apollo lunar landing, it is announcing the completion of the crew capsule for its upcoming uncrewed Artemis1 lunar mission. "But in the Artemis program we go to the moon sustainably, and this time we have a very diverse, highly qualified astronaut corps that includes women".

In the decades since US astronaut Neil Armstrong uttered, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", various nations have advanced their own lunar missions - including China, which plans to explore the moon's polar regions by 2030.

The last time humans walked on The Moon was in December 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission.

The display was part of show Friday and Saturday nights depicting highlights from the historic Apollo 11 moon landing on its 50th anniversary.

In regard to NASA's other astronaut program, in which it is partnering with SpaceX and Boeing to return astronauts to space from American soil, Pence hedged from earlier comments that the program would launch with crew by the end of the year, changing it to "within the next year".

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"On the heels of the 50th Anniversary of #Apollo11, we've just issued a draft solicitation asking United States companies to help us develop the 21st century human landing system that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024", NASA chief Jim Bridenstine tweeted. "Any way of going directly without landing on the moon, is that a possibility?"

"If Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins are not heroes, then there are no heroes", Pence told a crowd of dozens of space industry executives and NASA staff in the Operations and Checkout building, the 58-foot-tall (18 meters) chamber that once housed the Apollo 11 command module for testing.

Per The Verge, the question was asked during a photo op held at the Oval Office.

Collins, though, chimed in that he supported the idea of "Mars direct", referring going directly to Mars without first returning to the Moon.

The monument was chosen as a backdrop because it "creates this really powerful visual to symbolize and emphasize the position of the moon landing in American identity", he said.

"We go now to the Moon, not as a destination, but as a proving ground for all the technology, science, and human exploration efforts that will be critical for missions to Mars".

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