The president met privately with Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong’s wife.
U.S. President Barack Obama, received Tuesday at the White House two of the three astronauts who participated in the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, after serving 45 years of the first walk on the moon’s surface.
The president met privately with Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong’s wife, who died two years ago, who was the first man to set foot on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.
Obama recalled that 45 years ago the world watched how the U.S. unanimous set foot on the Moon, “a seminal moment not only for the history, but the history of mankind.”
“The three brave astronauts of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins took the first steps for our giant leap into the future,” said the president in a statement released after the meeting.
“They have inspired generations”
Obama stressed that since both astronauts and their families have been an example of the American “ingenuity” and the achievements of mankind, so he thanked his service to the country as educators and role model.
“They have inspired generations of Americans-including-to dream big and go further,” he said.
On the legacy of these astronauts, NASA is preparing to “the next giant leap” in human exploration, Obama said, including the first visit manned deep space, to an asteroid and Mars, while working together with the commercial space sector of “innovative”.
The president said the United States is “stronger” today thanks to the vision of President Jonn F. Kennedy, which sets the target the first man on the moon, and the “courage” of the astronauts who made the trip , not to mention all those who participated in the Apollo program and those who made scientific discoveries for mankind.