Latest Aviation News Space FIFTY YEARS AFTER MOON MISSION, APOLLO ASTRONAUTS MEET AT HISTORIC LAUNCHPAD

Fifty years after Moon mission, Apollo astronauts meet at historic launchpad

AFP
16/07/2019 | 523 words

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.

The crew's surviving members, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, are set to reunite at the same launchpad on Tuesday, the start of a week-long series of events commemorating Apollo 11.

Their commander and the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, passed away in 2012.

But Aldrin and Collins, 89 and 88 respectively, will meet Tuesday at precisely 9:32 am (1332 GMT) at the Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A to kick off the festivities.

Their spacecraft took four days to reach the Moon, before its lunar module, known as "Eagle," touched the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. Armstrong emerged a few hours later.

Collins remained in lunar orbit in the command module Columbia, their only means of returning back to Earth.

"They knew, I knew, if they couldn't get off for some reason there was nothing I could do about it," he told reporters in New York in May as part of a series of events. "I had no landing gear on Columbia, I could not go down and rescue them."

Aldrin has remained relatively more elusive but has also taken part in a few events, including a gala dinner last Saturday where the cheapest ticket cost $1,000.

Aging but active on Twitter, and always seen in stars-and-stripes socks, Aldrin has faced health scares and family feuds, culminating in a court case over finances, which was settled in March.

On Tuesday, he will be the undeniable star of the show, as the second man to have stepped foot on the Moon. Only four of the 12 men who have done so remain alive.

- Uncertain future -

Despite the festivities, neither the US nor any other country has managed to return a human to the Moon since 1972, the year of the final Apollo mission.

President George 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, with public opinion markedly changed since the height of the Cold War.

For his part, President Donald Trump relaunched the race to re-conquer the Moon and Mars after taking office in 2017. But the immediate effect has been to create turbulence within the space agency.

Last week, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine fired the head of the human space exploration directorate Bill Gerstenmaier, likely over disagreements over the 2024 ultimatum set by Trump to return an American to the Moon.

Five years appears unlikely given that neither the rocket, capsule or lander are yet ready or even finalized.

"We don't have a lot of time to waste, if we're going to have new leadership, it needs to happen now," Bridenstine told CSPAN last week.

 
 
 
 
Related articles

NASA tests launch-abort system for moon-mission capsule

New crew blasts off for ISS

Trump tells NASA to send Americans to Moon

NASA launches satellite to help astronauts talk to Earth

18/07 A look back at how the partnership between AFI KLM E&M and GMF AeroAsia was finalised
18/07 A bright future for AFI KLM E&M's activities
18/07 Jean Kayanakis (Dassault Aviation): "Customer service quality is now clearly a critical argument"
18/07 A very good Paris Air Show for Collins Aerospace's aftermarket activities
18/07 Air Support becomes a Meggitt approved repair station for high pressure engine valves
18/07 Sabena technics is ready for the A330 MRTT
26 JUL 2019
ATR has created a new independent Operations Directorate within its Executive Committee, which was previously only a department integrated into the Programs and Customer Services Directorate. Reporting directly to the CEO Stefano Bortoli, it will be headed by RAPHAEL DUBUS, previously Accountable Manager of Production Organisation. He will take office on September 1 and join the Executive Committee.
18 JUL 2019
S7 TECHNICS has started to manufacture plastic products using vacuum thermoforming. The new method will allow the Russian MRO company to considerably expand the range of items it is able to produce for aircraft interiors. The first parts produced were plastic passenger seat backs that are being installed on S7 Airlines' Airbus A320 family of aircraft.
18 JUL 2019
AESL (Aircraft End-of-Life Solution) has acquired an Airbus A330-200 (MSN 195, PW4000, CS-TOI, ex-TAP) for dismantling. The aircraft will land at Twente airport in late July.
18 JUL 2019
AAR has won a four-year maintenance contract with the ROYAL NETHERLANDS AIR FORCE (RNLAF) to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul of the CH-47 Chinook APU for Logistics Centre Woensdrecht (LCW). The US MRO company has been present on the RNLAF F-16 fleet for more than 25 years. AAR will provide this new contract from its Component Repair facility in Amsterdam.
18 JUL 2019
SAFRAN HELICOPTER ENGINES and THAI AVIATION INDUSTRIES (TAI) have signed an agreement to extend their support to helicopter engines used by the Royal Thai Armed Forces and Thai parapublic operators. This agreement, which follows a previous partnership signed in 2017 for Makila turbines (H225), is based on a Global Support Package (GSP) and now covers around fifty engines.
ALERTAVIA, the News platform for Aerospace and Defense industry Professionals.

Featured Content
AFI KLM E&M steps up a gear on CFM's LEAP
Sabena technics finally gets back on-board C-130Hs
Airbus and Thai Airways to launch a new joint venture MRO facility at U-Tapao
How Thai Airways will Expand Rolls-Royce's Trent Engine Service Network
China embarks on board aircraft recycling
LATEST NEWS   CIVIL AEROSPACE   MRO & SUPPORT   AIR TRANSPORT   DEFENCE   SPACE
Follow us
© 2019 Le Journal de l'Aviation - All rights reserved

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by following this link.  OK  Find out more