Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Commemorates the 49th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Style Magazine Newswire | 7/20/2018, 2:01 p.m.
Jackson Lee— “I believe space exploration remains part of our national destiny, and I am working in Congress to ensure ...
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget, and the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism Homeland Security and Investigations, and a strong supporter of NASA, released the following statement in celebration of the 49th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing:

“On July 20th, 1969, the spaceship was a long way from home. Blasting off from Cape Canaveral four days prior, Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin had been hurled from our orbit at an escape velocity of 24,200 miles per hour. With them were cameras, various scientific instruments, and the now famous three-by-five foot U.S. flag to be erected on the surface of the Moon. They also carried two other U.S. flags—to be brought back and flown over the houses of Congress—the flags of the 50 States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, the United Nations flag, as well as those of 136 foreign countries.

“But what they carried that fateful day was more than a collection of instruments and national symbols. They carried fear—of going where no human had gone before. More than fear they carried courage—for courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the resolute fulfillment of duty in spite of overwhelming fear. And more than courage they carried hope—that despite the bloodshed and weapons of mass destruction that defined the Cold War, humanity could stand together with bated breath for this new, brave step into the future.

“On the afternoon of July 20th at 4:18 PM Eastern, more than 200,000 miles away from Earth, the lunar module Eagle carrying Aldrin and Armstrong settled down at an angle of no more than four or five degrees on the right side of the Moon as seen from Earth. From Tranquility Base, Armstrong immediately radioed Mission Control: ‘Houston, the Eagle has landed.’

“At 10:56 PM, Armstrong put his left foot to the Moon—‘one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,’ he remarked.

“It was the first time in history that man has ever stepped on anything that has not existed on or originated from Earth.

“We celebrate today not only to chronicle the extraordinary voyage of Apollo 11, but also to remember the efforts of thousands of America’s brightest who stretched the bounds of human imagination with this accomplishment. I am tremendously proud to say Houston’s very own Johnson Space Center, then named Manned Space Center, was pivotal in guiding the spaceships Columbia and Eagle to their place in history. Even after the Gemini and Apollo Missions, Houston has been the international hub of manned space flight ever since. Johnson Space Center scientists, engineers, astronauts and other staff members have been tasked with controlling flights from Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz missions through the Shuttle program and beyond. Johnson Space Center is also the training base and home for our nation’s astronauts and the site of Mission Control, where a talented cadre of flight controllers monitors the work of our women and men in space.