Ranking Members Johnson and Edwards Comment on the 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing
(Washington, DC) - Today, July 20th marks forty-five years since the Apollo lunar module, “Eagle” landed in the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon. About six hours after landing, Commander Neil A. Armstrong stepped off the lunar module, “Eagle,” and set foot on the lunar surface, making the first human foot print on another world, and uttering the immortal words, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He was later joined by Lunar Module Pilot, “Buzz” Aldrin, while Command Module Pilot, Michael Collins, orbited the Moon in the Command Module. It is estimated that than a half a billion people watched the historic event on television. Four days later on July 24th, the Command Module carrying the three astronauts, splashed down safely into the Pacific Ocean. The success of the Apollo 11 mission not only fulfilled President Kennedy’s call to send a man to the Moon and return him safely to Earth within a decade, it altered the perception of humanity as Earth-bound and proved the ability of humans to explore the cosmos.
Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson said, “This 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing is a reminder of what this nation is capable of doing when it sets a clear goal, provides the needed resources, and maintains its commitment to attaining that goal. I think that the best tribute we can pay to the brave crew of Apollo 11 and to all of those who made this monumental accomplishment possible is to recommit America, working in concert with our international partners, to a sustained and vital program of human exploration of the solar system, with Mars as our goal. Such an endeavor will inspire our young people, spur technological innovation, and strengthen our geopolitical standing. I urge my colleagues in Congress and in the Administration to make that program a reality.”
Space Subcommittee Ranking Member Donna F. Edwards commented, “In under a decade, Apollo 11 achieved a bold and ambitious goal that led many Americans to pursue education and careers in science and engineering and to establish a foundation of U.S. leadership in space exploration, science, and technology. The unfortunate truth is that we risk leaving that foundation to crumble if we fail to set and sustain ambitious new goals for human exploration of outer space and to invest in research and development. NASA is critical to our nation and its economic strength, and there is no more fitting way to honor Apollo 11 than to resume our commitment to human exploration of deep space that we proved possible 45 years ago. Our bipartisan NASA Authorization Act of 2014 gets us started, and I look forward to continuing the mission.”