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Press Releases :: July 20, 2009

House Celebrates Fortieth Anniversary of ‘Giant Leap for Mankind’

 (Washington, DC)—Today, the House of Representatives approved  H.Res.607, Celebrating the Fortieth Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, by a vote of 390 to 0.   

Forty years ago today, on July 20, 1969, the crew of Apollo 11 successfully landed surface of the Moon. The Apollo 11 landing was the culmination of the efforts of tens of thousands of scientists, engineers, and other dedicated individuals and organizations. The landing was a goal President John F. Kennedy set forth in his May 25, 1961 speech to Congress, at a time when it looked as though the Soviet Union had an insurmountable lead in the “Space Race.” 

"The success of the Apollo 11 mission, carried out in full view of the rest of the world, was a clear demonstration of both the technological capabilities of the United States of America and the willingness of our citizens to strive to accomplish great undertakings,” said resolution cosponsor Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). “Yet the Apollo program was as much about the journey as it was about the ultimate destination. Thus, the investments we made in our space program in the 1960s helped inspire a generation to seek to pursue careers in science and engineering. It led to a flowering of innovation, and it helped spawn a panoply of new technologies, materials, and processes that have delivered benefits to all of our citizens over the past forty years."

"I think it is incredibly important for us to pause to remember and honor the bravery and success of the crew of the Apollo11: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. In addition, we should also remember and honor all of the countless individuals and organizations who labored long and hard to make Apollo 11 possible,” said resolution cosponsor Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Chairwoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). “Yet I think the best way to honor their accomplishment is to make our own commitment to a challenging and robust program of human and robotic exploration of the solar system. It is time for Americans to take the next steps in space—we simply cannot rest on our laurels, no matter how hard-won.”

“The inspiration and hard work behind the successful Apollo 11 mission also laid the foundation for a host of technologies on which today’s society depends.  Apollo influenced and motivated generations of engineers and scientists who contributed so much to our nation’s successes in the ensuing decades,” stated Technology and Innovation Subcommittee Vice Chairman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), who managed the bill on the Floor. “In short, the Apollo program continues to deliver benefits to our country even today.  The Apollo 11 Moon landing was one of the most significant events of the 20th century, and it is only fitting that we celebrate it today as we mark the 40th anniversary of that historic event.”

For more information, please see the Committee’s website.

 

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