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National
Apollo 11: Why the moon mission matters, why we should care
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Apollo 11: Why the moon mission matters, why we should care

Apollo 11: Why the moon mission matters, why we should care
Photo Credit: NASA
Astronuats Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon during the historic Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969.

Apollo 11: Why the moon mission matters, why we should care

It was once thought of as an impossible quest, an improbable moonshot of the longest odds: Putting humans on the lunar surface then returning them to Earth.

>> Read more trending news 

The directive from President John F. Kennedy in 1961 asked the young space agency NASA to do just that, and in eight short years the agency and hundreds of support personnel and ordinary Americans accomplished what many argue is the greatest human achievement of all time.

July 20 marks the 50-year anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that saw three astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins travel to where no man had gone before. Armstrong and Aldrin walked into history when they touched down on the lunar surface while Collins orbited above.
The Apollo 11 moon landing was the first manned mission to the moon, and it was the first time in history humans left Earth and landed on another planetary body. The astronauts also brought back the first samples from a planetary object.

Aside from the obvious reason the historic Apollo 11 mission was so important, there are other reasons the mission made a lasting impact on the country and the world.

Some historical analyses credit the Apollo 11 mission with the start of the digital revolution and other major technological gains. 

“The technology that America reaped from the federal investment in space hardware (satellite reconnaissance, biomedical equipment, lightweight materials, water-purification systems, improved computing systems and a global search-and-rescue system) has earned its worth multiple times over,” historian Douglas Brinkley concluded in his book “AMERICAN MOONSHOT: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.”

“We didn’t get the Jetsons, as some people dreamed, but the eight years between President Kennedy’s challenge and the actual moon landing produced an unprecedented blossoming of innovation, creativity, public attention (and then public inattention), innovative management, intensity, suspense, discovery, and politics. We think we went to the Moon and all we got was Tang and Velcro, because we’ve lost the perspective of how the Apollo project laid the foundation for the digital age in which we now live and work,” David Lidsky wrote for Fast Company.

Kent Wang wrote for the Asia Times that the Apollo 11 mission opened the gateway for the exploration of the universe and created a potential staging area for a journey to Mars.

“NASA needs to develop a strategy for effectively leveraging both commercial and international partners to send humans on missions to the moon. Fortunately, we now seem to be closer to a consensus that it is time for humans to move beyond low-Earth orbit and that an important part of that evolution will involve people landing on the moon and establishing a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars.”

It’s the Apollo 11 mission so many years ago that proved humans could leave the Earth and journey beyond its gravity to our nearest neighbor. It’s Apollo 11 that opened the door to the possibility of human exploration of the universe and the upcoming next step: a mission to Mars.

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News

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  • A large crowd gathered Sunday morning at RiverScape MetroPark for a service hosted by Kanye West. >> Read more trending news  Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and their children held the Sunday Service in support of the victims and survivors of the mass shooting at the city of Dayton’s historic Oregon District. Several other celebrities, including Dave Chappelle and Michael Che, of “Saturday Night Live,” also were seen at the service, which lasted about two hours. “The best way we can honor our fallen is by getting up better than we were before,” Chappelle told the crowd. “We won’t let those people die in vain.” Two attendees said they had a great time at the service this morning. “It was really fun. I actually got to be a part of the Sunday Service choir,” Chaelyn Allen said. “We been rehearsing for, like, a few days this week, so it was really fun.” “I think it was awesome, a great cause,” Shantel Wilder said. “It feels good to be a part of it.”
  • Disney is completely reinventing Epcot. At its D23 expo in Anaheim, California, this weekend, the company announced some major changes coming to the park. >> Read more trending news  The company kicked off its announcements with Journey of Water, Inspired by 'Moana.' The attraction will let guests 'interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.' The upcoming 'Guardians of the Galaxy' ride finally has a name. The company announced it will be called 'Guardians of the Galaxy': Cosmic Rewind. It will feature 'the first reverse launch into space.' In the park's Mission Space pavilion, the company announced a new restaurant called Space 220. It will open this winter and is described as 'an out-of-this-world culinary experience with celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up.' The United Kingdom pavilion in the World Showcase will welcome the first attraction inspired by 'Mary Poppins' in Cherry Tree Lane, the company announced. We don't know a lot about this attraction other than it will be the first for the United Kingdom pavilion. The park also announced a new pavilion at World Celebration. It will be the home base for Epcot's signature festivals, providing a view of the World Showcase. The company said it will be a three-level structure and will become a new icon for Epcot. Finally, the company announced a new nighttime spectacular called 'HarmonioUS.' It is said to be the largest nighttime show created for a Disney park. Disney said it will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people around the world. For more information, visit the Disney Parks Blog.
  • Firefighters came to the rescue of a dog that got stuck on a roof overnight Saturday in Everett, Washington.  South County Fire tweeted that the dog went out an open window onto a narrow roof and couldn't turn around to get back in. Firefighters were able to get the scared pup back inside.
  • The Cocoa Beach Police Department arrested Joseph McKinney, 40, of Texas, after he allegedly threatened to conduct a shooting at a hotel. >> Read more trending news  Investigators said McKinney was taken into custody after he got off a cruise ship at Port Canaveral on Sunday morning.  Police responded to the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Hotel on Friday after the hotel received an electronic guest review expressing McKinney’s displeasure about his recent stay, according to police. Officers said McKinney’s review contained threatening language and made reference to an “active shooter style” event at the hotel. McKinney was charged with making written threats to kill, do bodily injury or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism. He was transported to the Brevard County Jail and is being held on $25,000 bail.
  • Atlanta police last week released a video showing a suspect in a shooting at a block party at the Atlanta University Center that wounded four students. No one has stepped forth to identify that man, so on Sunday, Atlanta City Council member Cleta Winslow said she is adding $3,000 more in reward money to better incentivize someone’s good citizenship. The reward will now be $5,000. “This is personal,” Winslow said after a short press conference near the AUC campus. “Parents send their children to our town. They need assurance that they are safe.” Four women — two students from Spelman College, two from Clark Atlanta University — were shot or grazed Tuesday night outside the Robert W. Woodruff Library during a party before the first day of school. Police believe the young man in the video was involved in a confrontation in which four or five shots were fired in the plaza crowded with 200 students. Police said that perhaps a second possible gunman was targeted by the suspect but that the women were not intended targets. One of the victims was shot in the chest, but all are expected to recover. Police said they are getting some tips but have not gotten enough information to make an arrest. Longtime civic activist Michael Langford said, “I want to appeal to the community at large because no crime occurs without someone knowing, hearing or seeing something. “And while the money is there, I want to appeal to your moral conscience to come forward because the only thing it takes for evil to exist in our community it for good people to sit back and do nothing.” Winslow said she had just met with student leaders to assure them of their safety. Both Atlanta and Atlanta University Center police said they have beefed up patrols in the areas that area. » RELATED: Concerns on Atlanta campuses after shooting » RELATED: Tighter campus security