This SouthCoast kid can’t wait for the Artemis Moon mission

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When I was a kid, my heroes were Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins. Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins flew Apollo 11 to the Moon. Their photos took pride of place on my bedroom wall.

Armstrong and Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on the Moon and became the first humans to set foot on the lunar surface. Collins remained aboard the command module Columbia in lunar orbit.

30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission

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It happened on July 20, 1969, when the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) had less technology in a room full of computers than in my Apple Watch.

Twenty-four American astronauts have traveled to the moon since 1968, and only 12 have set foot on the lunar surface. The last person to walk on the moon did so in 1972.

When the Apollo 11 crew landed on the Moon, my family was camping at Amy’s Hideaway in the woods of Freetown. My parents made sure we were home to watch the moon landing on TV and Armstrong and Aldrin’s incursion from Eagle. I will never forget either event.

30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission

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On August 29, 2022, NASA will launch Artemis I, a four to six week uncrewed mission to orbit the Moon. Artemis II, with a crew of four, is scheduled to launch no earlier than May 2024 for a 10-day mission that will include an orbit around the Moon.

Artemis III will launch no earlier than 2025 to bring humans back to the Moon. The mission will mark the first time a woman and a person of color have landed on the surface of the Moon.

30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission

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I hope the Artemis program will inspire the next generation of space travelers and usher in a new era of space exploration.

For me, I can’t wait.

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