Forty years ago today, the crew of the US Apollo 11 space mission became the first people in history to walk on The Moon.
And they have used the occasion to call for another giant leap for mankind – that of reaching the planet Mars. The astronauts – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – made a rare joint public appearance at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington on the eve of the anniversary. Later today they will get the chance to pitch their plea to President Barack Obama at a reception at the White House. However US Space Agency NASA’s ambitious plans to put US astronauts back on the moon by 2020 and to establish lunar bases as a stop-off to Mars look increasingly in doubt due to rows over funding.