NASA Updates Apollo Anniversary, Next Giant Leap Events

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has updated events that are marking the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing and the steps being taken for America's next giant leap to send astronauts to Mars.

NASA's Apollo 11 crew landed on the moon July 20, 1969. The world watched 45 years ago as astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set their lunar module Eagle down in the Sea of Tranquility, while crewmate Michael Collins orbited above in the command module Columbia. The agency is commemorating Armstrong's "one giant leap for mankind" through a number of events across, and above, the United States, as well as on the agency's website and NASA Television.

NASA's exhibits and discussions at the Intrepid Space and Science Festival at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York run through Sunday, July 20. For more information about the festival, visit

http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/SpaceandScienceFestival.aspx

Also on Sunday starting at 10:39 p.m., when Armstrong opened the spacecraft hatch to begin the first spacewalk on the moon, NASA TV will replay the restored footage of Armstrong and Aldrin's historic steps on the lunar surface.

On Monday, July 21 at 10:15 a.m., from the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA TV will air live coverage of the renaming of the center's Operations and Checkout Building in honor of Armstrong, who passed away in 2012. The renaming ceremony will include NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Kennedy Center Director Robert Cabana, and Apollo 11's Collins, Aldrin and astronaut Jim Lovell, who was the mission's back-up commander. International Space Station NASA astronauts Steve Swanson, who is the current station commander, and Reid Wiseman, also will take part in the ceremony from their orbiting laboratory 260 miles above Earth.

Kennedy's Operations and Checkout Building has played a vital role in NASA's spaceflight history. It was used during the Apollo program to process and test the command, service and lunar modules. Today, the facility is being used to process and assemble NASA's Orion spacecraft, which the agency will use to send astronauts to an asteroid in the 2020s and Mars in the 2030s. 

On Thursday, July 24 at 6 p.m. EDT, which is the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11's return to Earth, the agency will host a panel discussion -- called NASA's Next Giant Leap -- from Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Moderated by actor Seth Green, the panel includes Aldrin, NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green, JPL systems engineer Bobak Ferdowsi, and NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, who will talk about Orion and the Space Launch System rocket, which will carry humans on America's next great adventure in space.

NASA will host a media availability with agency representatives following the Comic-Con panel. The availability will take place in room Aqua 310 of the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, 1 Park Blvd., San Diego, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. PDT. Media interested in attending the availability must contact Trent Perrotto at tperrotto@nasa.gov by 3 p.m. PDT Thursday

NASA.gov is hosting features, videos, and historic images and audio clips that highlight the Apollo 11 anniversary, as well as the future of human spaceflight. To explore all the special content, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/apollo45

To join the ongoing conversation on social media about the anniversary and NASA's deep space exploration plans, use the hashtags #NextGiantLeap and #Apollo45.

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

For information about the activities, planning and preparations for the next giant leap in space exploration, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration

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SOURCE NASA



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