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    National Moon Day: Why the US celebrates the day on July 20

    National Moon Day: Why the US celebrates the day on July 20

    National Moon Day: Why the US celebrates the day on July 20
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

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    The spaceflight Apollo 11 carried Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilots, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, to the moon for the first time. In 1971, then US President Richard Nixon proclaimed July 20 as National Moon Day to honour the anniversary of man's first moon landing.

    The US celebrates National Moon Day every year on July 20 as it was on this day that humans made the historic lunar landing and walked on the moon in 1969.
    US space agency NASA had said that the first step of mankind on the moon was the single greatest technological achievement of all time.
    History
    The spaceflight Apollo 11 carried Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilots, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, to the moon for the first time.
    Aldrin and Armstrong made the first crewed landing on the lunar surface, while Collins flew the Apollo 11 command module Columbia around the moon.
    Six hours after landing on the moon, Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface. He was followed by Aldrin. The two astronauts spent more than 21 hours on the lunar surface and collected 21.5 kg of lunar material, which was brought back to the Earth for research. They named the site on the lunar surface “Tranquility Base”.
    Neil Armstrong’s first words from the moon were: “That one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
    Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins returned to Earth on July 24.
    In 1971, then US President Richard Nixon proclaimed July 20 as National Moon Day to honour the anniversary of man's first moon landing.
    Significance
    The mission opened up the scope for new explorations and possibilities in space not just by the US but the world. Buoyed by the success of Apollo 11, NASA also stepped up its efforts for more such missions.
    Space enthusiasts observe Moon Day by visiting the planetariums and talking about the Moon landing of 1969.
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