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Nixon watches first lunar landing

Nixon watches first lunar landing

On today in 1969, President Richard Nixon, alongside millions of other people, watches as two American astronauts stroll on the moon. Later that evening, Nixon recorded succinctly in his diary “the President held an interplanetary conversation with Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin on the Moon.”

America and the Soviet Union have been in a race to see who could easily get to the moon first ever as the Soviets beat the U.S. into manned space flight with Yuri Gagarin’s orbital flight in 1961. Later that year, then-President John F. Kennedy vowed that America will be 1st to put a guy on the moon, saying “To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade, we shall make up and move ahead.” To meet this purpose, Kennedy and his successors, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, authorized generous funding for space exploration. Thanks to the support, significantly less when compared to a decade immediately after what became named Kennedy’s “moon speech,” the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sent the 1st males to the moon.

Nixon joined about 500 million people concerning the planet in watching Armstrong and Aldrin because the astronauts left their lunar landing module and walked on the moon. (The Soviet Union and China, America’s two largest rivals in the area race, banned the broadcast within their respective nations.) After they planted an American flag on the moon’s surface, the astronauts spoke right to President Nixon, who congratulated them on the historic mission. His phone was linked via satellite through the NASA control center in Houston, Texas.

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Nixon stayed an influential force in America’s space program. In 1972, he approved improvement of the area shuttle program. In an ironic twist, by the 21st century, space shuttle flights-especially those to the international space station-had become international cooperative endeavors with Russians and Americans joining forces to conduct missions and sharing space exploration technology.

Source: History