Forty years ago they travelled 400,000 kilometres to become the first men to land on the Moon.
The latest journey by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins was much shorter, but prestigious all the same. The three Apollo astronauts travelled to the White House for an anniversary reception hosted by President Barack Obama. Obama told them: “I think on this 40th anniversary, we are, all of us, thankful and grateful to all of you for what you have done and we expect that there is, as we speak, another generation of kids out there who are looking up at the sky and are going to be the next Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin. And we want to make sure that NASA is going to be there for them when they want to take their journey.” To celebrate the anniversary of the moon landings, NASA has posted a host of new material on its website, including videos of the mission and audio recordings of the astronauts’ conversation. However, that may be all we see of the moon for the time being. Obama has ordered a review of the Constellation project, launched by his predecessor George W. Bush. It would involve moon landings as a stop-off point for manned flights on their way to Mars.