Apollo 11's astronauts snapped photos for science. Then came MTV

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However, the Apollo programme was cancelled, largely as a result of budgetary considerations, and these missions never got off the ground.

By 1989, Buzz Aldrin was a best-selling author. Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to the surface of the moon.

They would follow every milestone on television, from the launch on July 16th, and the moon landing on July 20th to the splashdown on the 24th.

Aldrin and Collins will reunite at the launch pad and be part of a question-and-answer session at Kennedy Space Center.

He and Buzz Aldrin, who piloted the lunar module that detached from the spacecraft and landed on the Moon's surface, are the two surviving members from the mission that would change the way humanity saw its place in the universe.

July 16 was significant in the museum's calendar as it marked exactly 50 years since Apollo 11 launched on its trip to the moon. "I sometimes think the three of us missed 'the big event.' While we were out there on the moon, the world was growing closer together, right here", he said.

Under a giant Saturn V replica, 900 people dined with former astronauts and von Braun's children.

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NASA is aiming to send humans back to the moon as soon as 2024 in a hastened timeline set by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in a March speech to the National Space Council, the White House's revived space policy body. "It was the end of a 5-year period of intense, intense work".

Collins said he likes the name Artemis and, even more, likes the concept behind Artemis. Collins said there was "a great deal of merit" to the recent push for a lunar return. He synced all forms of media to mission time, which NASA said was a challenge given that sound recordings varied widely in speed. "Apollo 11 is the only event of the 20th Century that stands a chance of being widely remembered in the 30th Century", he said. The OU has joined forces with NASA Goddard Spaceflight Centre to develop an instrument called PITMS, which will monitor the very thin atmosphere near the surface of the Moon.

The lone female launch controller for Apollo 11, JoAnn Morgan, enjoyed seeing the much updated- firing room.

Aldrin also opened up about the mission at a 50th anniversary gala on Monday at the Ronald Reagan Library outside Los Angeles, according to Reuters. Only four of the 12 men who have done so remain alive. Aldrin hosted a gala in Southern California last Saturday and planned to head directly to the Huntsville dinner.

Just as millions around the globe watched the Apollo 11 moonshot 50 years ago, space enthusiasts young and old can watch the mission unfold in real time on a special NASA website, "Apollo 11 in Real Time, 50 Years Later".

Science writer Seth Borenstein contributed from Washington. The AP is exclusively responsible for all content.

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