Forty-five years ago today, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on another world. Armstrong’s “one small step … one giant leap” on the dusty lunar surface July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will have an appearance today by former astronaut Bruce McCandless, who served as the Mission Control capsule communicator, or capcom, in Houston as Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon. It’s his voice that the moonwalkers heard. McCandless later went on to his own fame as the free-flying, untethered spaceman who tested NASA’s manned manoeuvring unit, or jetpack, during a shuttle flight in 1984.
The USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, Calif.,, also has nabbed Aldrin for its 45th anniversary festivities — Splashdown 45 — next Saturday, July 26. The aircraft carrier recovered the Apollo 11 crew and capsule, the Columbia, from the Pacific following splashdown. President Richard Nixon was on board to welcome Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins home.