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Susan LendrothMay 22, 2009

Celebrate Apollo 11's 40th Anniversary with the Crew

On July 20, 1969, the world seemed to collectively hold its breath, waiting for two men to step off a ladder into Moon dust. The lunar module (LEM) that landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon was not one of the sleek rockets envisioned decades earlier in Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers films. Squat and lumpy, perched on spindly legs, the LEM looked nothing like the streamlined spaceships of science fiction, but it was far better because it was real. Apollo 11 carried humanity's first emissaries to another world, and from the moment it landed, we looked forward to a new age for mankind, the Space Age.

This summer, the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. will commemorate that extraordinary moment in history with a very special Apollo 11 celebration, featuring the mission's original crew members along with former Johnson Space Center Director Chris Kraft. Held on Sunday, July 19, the event is the museum's annual John H. Glenn Lecture, and Senator and former astronaut, John Glenn, will introduce the program.

Tickets are free, but reservations are required. Reservations for tickets will be taken online for one week only -- from May 26 - June 1, 2009. Since the Smithsonian anticipates a huge response for this event, tickets will be distributed via a random drawing from the pool of requests received. For more information on how you can register for a chance to join this historic gathering, visit their website.

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Read more: history, events and announcements, fun, human spaceflight, the Moon, NASA lunar missions before 2005

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