Apollo 11 launched 50 years ago on July 16, 1969

Neil Armstrong Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin

Neil Armstrong Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin

CBS News is now livestreaming its original broadcast from fifty years ago, when the original Apollo 11 crew launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Despite the festivities, neither the United States nor any other country has managed to return a human to the Moon since 1972, the year of the final Apollo mission.

Then at 4 p.m. on Saturday, NASA Live TV will replay the original Apollo 11 footage of the first moonwalk. Once the rocket cleared the launch tower, however, Collins, Armstrong and Aldrin really felt the force of the Saturn V rocket. "I just hope they make it successfully and have no problem", said another, who journeyed all the way from Torrance, California.

Safire noted that following the sombre address, the president had planned to give a modified burial to the astronauts at sea in a public ritual that commended their souls to "the deepest depths".

"If they couldn't [do it], they'd have to be abandoned on the moon, left to die there", Safire told Meet the Press. If stranded, they could have starved or committed suicide.

Even in the case of a fatal outcome, the prospective speech leaves the door open for future space exploration, setting the stage for missions to come.

More men would follow in the Apollo astronauts' footsteps, Safire wrote, and "surely find their way home". Man's search will not be denied.

After returning to Earth, the astronauts spent weeks in quarantine before embarking on a global tour.

Mr Collins said he wished his two moonwalking colleagues could have shared the moment at Kennedy Space Centre's launch complex 39A, the departure point for the first moon landing.

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Now, NASA has a new Moon programme called Artemis, after Apollo's twin sister, the aim being to go to the Moon again by 2024.

The PITMS instrument will provide an early opportunity to study the dynamic behaviour of water on the Moon today, as well as proving some of the detection technology that will be used by the OU on subsequent missions.

The crew of the Apollo 11, from left, Neil Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, module pilot; Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, lunar module pilot.

On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft took the first humans on the Moon. Collins remained in orbit in the command module throughout the mission.

US President Richard Nixon's speechwriter William Safire had prepared a speech in the event that astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin never made it back from the moon.

Neither the USA nor any other country has managed to return a human to the moon since 1972, the year of the final Apollo mission.

Morris said he continued to work on the team for most Apollo missions before the space program ended.

"Apollo 11 ... was serious business", Collins said, per the AP.

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