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Indiana Observatory Commemorates Apollo Mission's Ties To Hoosier State

Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon in 1969. (Courtesy of NASA)

Fifty years ago today, NASA made history when it launched Apollo 11, its first manned expedition to the moon.

Greg McCauley, executive director of the Link Observatory Space Science Institute, says the organization’s main objective is to encourage young people to pursue careers in space science and exploration.

McCauley says the observatory anticipated a lot of excitement surrounding the anniversary, and prepared a special presentation, which it’s been putting on for the last month.

“The crescendo is of course this Saturday night, July 20, which is the 50th anniversary of landing at Tranquility Base,” he says.

He says Indiana has direct ties to the first moon landing, and to space science in general.

“Well, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and Gene Cernan from Apollo 17 was the last man on the moon," he says. "They were both graduates of Purdue University Aeronautical Engineering.”

McCauley says there has been a lot of public interest in the anniversary, both from people who remember the event, and younger people who want to understand its significance.

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