July 12, 2019

Apollo 11 -- The 50th Anniversary -- and the Return to the Moon in 2024

50 years ago, the combined work of 400,000 American space workers was cheered on by billions of people around the world as the mighty Saturn V rocket launched towards the moon.

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins--these names will be remembered a thousand years from now. They sat atop the Saturn on July 16th as it shook the earth to break free of earth's gravity. They carried the hopes and dreams of humanity. They were making history.

The journey was short by most standards. 500 years ago, a sea voyage might take many months; 150 years ago, a stagecoach across the country would take weeks or months; in 1969, a jetliner covered 600 miles in an hour. Yet in just three days, they traveled a quarter of a million miles and reached lunar orbit.

Michael Collins remained aboard the Command Module, responsible for getting the others home. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the moon, forever being the first people on the surface of another world. They raised the flag of the United States in tribute to all Americans who helped their journey with hard work and with encouragement--and in honor of the liberty we enjoy that made it possible for the mission in the first place.

Their feats got the headlines, but the 400,000 NASA and contractor employees got them there and back--they are as much the heroes of Apollo 11 as the astronauts. 

Returning from the moon, they received a hero’s welcome. The world united in peace watching the launch, landing and return of our astronauts.

Today, as we salute and honor the Apollo 11 astronauts and the space workers who got them to the moon and safely home, we can look forward to the next giant leap, as NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024.

Achieving this ambitions 5-year goal after decades of bureaucratic thinking and a lack of serious goals will not be easy, but we must remember the words of President John F. Kennedy, who in 1961 commanded us to literally aim for the moon: "We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win."

It is our human nature to explore, to discover and expand our knowledge--even at the ultimate risks.
Let us on this anniversary, recommit ourselves to President Kennedy's challenge to again do the things that are hard and challenging, and to be determined to win, as were the three Apollo 11 astronauts and everyone who got them there.

Let's go for the Moon in 2024 and then on to Mars in the 2030s!

Coalition President Art Harman is available for interviews and speaking engagements for this historic anniversary.

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