Apollo 11 astronauts returning to launch pad 50 years later

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FILE – In this image provided by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin poses for a photograph beside the U.S. flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. A new poll shows most Americans prefer focusing on potential asteroid impacts over a return to the moon. The survey by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research was released Thursday, June 20, one month before the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Aldrin’s momentous lunar landing. (Neil A. Armstrong/NASA via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Apollo 11’s astronauts are returning to the exact spot from where they flew to the moon 50 years ago.

NASA has invited Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on Tuesday. They will mark the precise moment – 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969 – that their Saturn V rocket departed on humanity’s first moon landing. Mission commander Neil Armstrong – who took the first lunar footsteps – died in 2012.

It kicks off eight days of golden anniversary celebrations for each day of Apollo 11’s voyage.

Also Tuesday morning, 5,000 model rockets are set to launch simultaneously at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. At the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, Armstrong’s newly restored spacesuit goes on display.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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