|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Friday, August 23, 2019
|'One giant leap': United States marks Apollo mission 50 years on|
Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit is seen after being unveiled for the first time in thirteen years, at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, on July 16, 2019, during the 50th anniversary of the launch mission. Fifty years ago on Tuesday, three American astronauts set off from Florida for the Moon on a mission that would change the way we see humanity's place in the universe. Alastair Pike / AFP.
by Leila Macor with Issam Ahmed in Washington
WASHINGTON (AFP).- Fifty years after a mighty rocket set off from Florida carrying the first humans to the Moon, a veteran of the Apollo 11 crew returned to its fabled launch pad Tuesday to commemorate "one giant leap" that became a defining moment in human history.
"We crew felt the weight of the world on our shoulders, we knew that everyone would be looking at us, friend or foe," command module pilot Michael Collins said from the Kennedy Space Center.
He and Buzz Aldrin, who piloted the module that 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.
Their commander Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, died in 2012 aged 82.
The spacecraft took four days to reach the Moon, before the module known as the "Eagle" -- whence the iconic phrase "the Eagle has landed" -- touched the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.
Armstrong emerged a few hours later, descending to the foot of the ladder, as he uttered the immortal line: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."
Collins remained in lunar orbit in the command module Columbia, their only means of returning to Earth.
"I always think of a flight to the Moon as being a long and fragile daisy chain of events," the 88-year-old said at launch pad 39A, at the first of many events planned across the week.
These include the return of Armstrong's suit to the Air and Space Museum in Washington after more than a decade of restoration work.
The Washington Monument will be lit up between July 16 and 18 with a life-size, 363-foot (111-meter) projection of the colossal Saturn V rocket built by ex-Nazi Wernher Von Braun.
Collins described how the mission was broken into discrete goals such as breaking free of the Earth's gravity or slowing down for lunar orbit.
"The flight was a question of being under tension, worrying about what's coming next. What do I have to do now to keep this daisy chain intact?"
Unlike Collins, Aldrin has remained relatively elusive and did not participate at Tuesday's launchpad event.
Aging but active on Twitter, and often seen in stars-and-stripes socks or ties, the 89-year-old has faced health scares and family feuds, culminating in a court case over finances, which was settled in March.
He is the second of 12 men to have set foot on the Moon, only four of whom are still alive.
Coffee and music
Collins has been fielding questions for half a century about whether he felt lonely or left out.
"I was always asked wasn't I the loneliest person in the whole lonely history of the whole lonely solar system when I was by myself in that lonely orbit?" he said. "And the answer was 'No, I felt fine!'
"I would enjoy a perfectly enjoyable hot coffee, I had music if I wanted to. Good old Command Module Columbia had every facility that I needed, and it was plenty big and I really enjoyed my time by myself instead of being terribly lonely."
He added that he was offered the chance to be commander of Apollo 17, but turned it down because he did not want to spend another three years on the road, away from his wife and young children.
First man, best spokesman?
After the astronauts returned to Earth, they spent weeks in quarantine in case they had been infected by mysterious space illnesses (they had not), before embarking on a global tour.
Collins said that despite being an introvert, Armstrong was the best spokesman among the crew, making audiences feel like they had been along for the ride.
"He was very intelligent, he had an extremely wide background of knowledge, scientific knowledge, historical knowledge."
Neither the United States nor any other country has managed to return a human to the Moon since 1972, the year of the final Apollo mission.
President George H.W. Bush promised to do so in 1989, as did his son president George W. Bush in 2004, while pledging to also march forward to Mars.
But they both ran up against a Congress that wasn't inclined to fund the adventures, while the tide of public opinion had also turned since president John F. Kennedy roused the nation to action in the 1960s.
For his part, President Donald Trump has relaunched the race to re-conquer the Moon -- this time with the first woman -- and to journey onwards to Mars.
But the deadlines (2024 and 2033 respectively) appear unrealistic and have caused turbulence within the space agency.
Last week, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine fired his head of human space exploration, likely over disagreements over the Moon ultimatum.
© Agence France-Presse
July 17, 2019
'One giant leap': United States marks Apollo mission 50 years on
Sotheby's hosts major exhibition celebrating the émigrés who transformed the British art world
National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art explores the role of the vase in art
Benin readies for return of treasures taken by France
The Brooklyn Museum opens 'Rembrandt to Picasso: Five Centuries of European Works on Paper'
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts adds major work by Tony Cragg to its collection
Sotheby's to offer the Collection Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, the 'Last Queen of Paris'
South African anti-apartheid singer Johnny Clegg dies aged 66
Christie's offers meteorites from the Stifler Collection
Pace/MacGill moves to Pace Gallery's new headquarters at 540 West 25th Street
Spruth Magers presents an exhibition of works by Eric Fischl
Hauser & Wirth opens an exhibition of modern and contemporary works by important female artists
More than 100 artworks added to PAFA's permanent collection at recent Collections Committee meeting
Terra Foundation adds Raymond J. McGuire and Jay Xu to Board of Directors
Meijer Gardens announces hiring of Curator of Sculpture and Sculpture Exhibitions
Pérez Art Museum Miami announces first Caribbean Cultural Institute, with $1M gift from Mellon Foundation
$100 bill worth $1 million to be auctioned
The Winter Show 2020 loan exhibition will feature masterworks from across the Hispanic world
French MPs agree Notre-Dame restoration as controversy swirls
Bart van der Heide appointed Director at Museion, Bolzano
Solo exhibition by New York based artist Josh Sperling on view at Perrotin
'Material Landscape, Social Landscape: Human Presence' on view at Kunstraum LLC
Gold, silver & bronze medals among Olympic memorabilia up for auction
Lark Mason Associates Sale of Lalique, Baccarat and other Fine Glass achieves $592,883
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop
2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years
3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880
4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine
5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested
6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art
7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK
8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm
9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores
10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.