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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin starts social media Apollo 11 commemoration

Buzz Aldrin  circa 1969
Photo by NASA/Getty Images

Space journalist Leonard David reported on Thursday that Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin has started a social media campaign to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the flight of Apollo 11. People are invited to upload their remembrances on twitter using hashtag #apollo45. A special YouTube channel has also been set up to post video messages.

A number of celebrities have pledged to post remembrances. “Some of the notable personalities who will be sharing their stories include, Quincy Jones, John Travolta, Stephen Colbert, Tim Allen, Jared Leto, Sir Richard Branson, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, HRH Prince Sultan of Saudi Arabia and London Mayor Boris Johnson, with more to come.” Thousands of ordinary people will also post their stories. There will also be news about the anniversary, stories about the epic flight, and other posts related to lunar exploration.

The Apollo 11 moon landing was one of the epochal events in human history. It was also the most heavily reported, live as it happened. Roughly a billion people followed the moon landing and the moon walk that followed live on television and radio. This was on a planet where just over three billion people lived at the time.

Buzz Aldrin is somewhat uniquely qualified to conduct such a social media campaign. He is one of the two surviving Apollo 11 astronauts who walked on the moon on July 20, 1969. The other surviving Apollo 11 astronaut, Michael Collins, remained in lunar orbit on board the command module. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, recently died.

Not everyone is disposed to be in a celebratory mood. Space blogger and critic of NASA Rand Simberg intends to write a piece on the premise that it is time to let go of Apollo. Apollo has been acknowledged as being the greatest peacetime technological feat in human history, the benefits of which redound decades later. Therefore, we should never do that again.

Addendum. While there are already messages on twitter, the official kickoff of the social media campaign in July 8, 2014. The montage video of celebrities will be posted at the YouTube channel on that day.

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