Eagle’s landing commemorated
The crew’s surviving members, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, are set to reunite at the same launchpad on Tuesday, the start of a week-long series of events commemorating Apollo 11. Their commander and the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, passed away in 2012. But Aldrin and Collins, 89 and 88 respectively, will meet Tuesday at precisely 9:32 a.m. (1332 GMT) at the Kennedy Space Center’s pad 39A to kick off the festivities. Their spacecraft took four days to reach the Moon, before its lunar module, known as “Eagle,” touched the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. Armstrong emerged a few hours later. Collins remained in lunar orbit in the command module Columbia, their only means of returning back to Earth. “They knew, I knew, if they couldn’t get off for some reason there was nothing I could do about it,” he told reporters in New York in May as part of a series of events. “I had no landing gear on Columbia, I could not go down and rescue them.” Aldrin has remained relatively more elusive but has also taken part in a few events, including a gala dinner last Saturday where the cheapest ticket cost $1,000. Aging but active on Twitter, and always seen in stars-and-stripes socks, Aldrin has faced health scares and family feuds, culminating in a court case over finances, which was settled in March. On Tuesday, he will be the undeniable star of the show, as the second man to have stepped foot on the Moon. Only four of the 12 men who have done so remain alive.
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