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NASA to mark 45th anniversary of first moon landing

Neil Armstrong takes the first walk on the moon.
Neil Armstrong takes the first walk on the moon.

A series of events in the coming days will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon, NASA said July 18.

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set lunar module Eagle on the moon’s surface, while crewmate Michael Collins orbited above in command module Columbia. When Armstrong exited the spacecraft and took the first walk, he uttered the immortal words, “That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

The following events will commemorate the anniversary of that historic event:

Through July 20: NASA will hold exhibits and discussions at the Intrepid Space and Science Festival at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York.

July 20: At 10:39 p.m. Eastern time, the moment when Armstrong opened the spacecraft hatch to begin the first walk, NASA TV will begin airing restored footage of Armstrong and Aldrin’s steps on the moon.

July 21: At 10:15 a.m. Eastern time from the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA TV will air live coverage of the renaming of the center's Operations and Checkout Building in honor of Armstrong, who died in 2012. Aldrin and Collins will be among the ceremony’s participants. The building was used to process and test the Apollo program’s command, service and lunar modules. Today, it is used to build NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which is slated to send astronauts to an asteroid in the 2020s and Mars in the 2030s.

July 24: At 6 p.m. Eastern, which is the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11’s return to Earth, a panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego will discuss the future of NASA’s manned space exploration.

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