NASA announces Orion achievement on Apollo 11 anniversary

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Vice President Pence commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing with a visit to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Pence, chairing the White House's National Space Council, announced in March an accelerated schedule for NASA to return astronauts to the moon by 2024, halving the U.S. space agency's previous timeline to get there by 2028 and requesting from Congress a $1.6 billion boost to NASA's fiscal 2020 budget request. 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. A tribute to the lives lost in various space explorations from the past was also widely shared online.

In this July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin Jr. descends a ladder from the Lunar Module during the Apollo 11 mission.

The world has celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 20 July, 1969 moon landing, a monumental victory for science, engineering, technology and mankind.

In a June 7 tweet, Trump said that for all the money NASA is spending it "should NOT be talking about going to the Moon - We did that 50 years ago".

"It would not be at all helpful to be competing for the Moon or Mars, that's very wasteful", he said.

Cities globally have held events to celebrate the landmark anniversary - including at Nasa's visitor centre Space Centre Houston, near the site of the Apollo 11 launch.

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During his interview with Aldrin, Pence expressed confidence that Trump would follow through with the program despite his stated frustration with NASA's decision to use the moon as a jumping-off point to get to Mars.

A little over six hours later, at 10:56 p.m. ET, Armstrong stepped on the lunar surface and uttered his immortal words - which he later said he thought about during the flight and prior to exiting Eagle.

The Orion spacecraft that will be used on Artemis 1.

NASA said in a statement that Artemis 1 would launch its Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) rocket around the moon in an initial test phase, after which a crew containing at least one female astronaut would touch down on the surface to establish a lunar base.

The building is now home to NASA's Orion crew capsule, the spacecraft created to carry astronauts back to the moon by 2024 in what Bridenstine calls the Artemis program, named after the Greek goddess and twin sister of Apollo. The vehicle is scheduled to perform the test next year as one of the precursors to the moon landing, a mission estimated to cost a total of $20-30 billion.

The first phase is expected to launch the spacecraft into space without astronauts in 2021 or 2022.

"To get to Mars, you have to land on the moon, they say". "President Trump and Vice President Pence have given us a bold direction to return to the Moon by 2024 and then go forward to Mars".

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