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One Giant Leap: US Moon Landing Celebrates 45th Anniversary

moon landing
Photo: Keystone

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — It was 45 years ago today that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon.

Armstrong’s “one small step … one giant leap” on July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts.

To mark the anniversary, NASA TV will broadcast restored footage of Armstrong and Aldrin’s lunar footsteps tonight, beginning at 10:39 p.m. EDT. That’s the exact time Armstrong opened the Eagle’s hatch 45 years ago.

This is the first major Apollo 11 anniversary in which the events fall on the same day of the week as they did in 1969.

Tomorrow, NASA will honor Armstrong, who died in 2012, with a ceremony renaming the historic Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center. Both Aldrin and Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 command module pilot who orbited the moon, are expected to be there.

In a statement after Armstrong’s death, his family suggested another way to pay tribute:

“Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

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