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Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad 50 years later

Last Updated Jul 16, 2019 at 9:22 am PDT

ADVANCE FOR USE SATURDAY, JULY 13, 2019 AND THEREAFTER-FILE - In this July 16, 1969 file photo, from right, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin walk to the van that will take the crew to the launchpad at Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. (AP Photo/File)
Summary

July 16, 2019 marks 50 years since Apollo 11 launched to the moon

Astronaut Michael Collins has returned to the exact spot where he and two others launched to the moon 50 years ago

Collins said he wished Aldrin and Armstrong could have shared the moment at the pad

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins returned Tuesday to the exact spot where he and two other astronauts flew to the moon 50 years ago.

At NASA’s invitation, Collins spent the golden anniversary at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida. He marked the precise moment — 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969 — that their Saturn V rocket departed on humanity’s first moon landing. Buzz Aldrin was an unexplained no-show. Mission commander Neil Armstrong — who took the first lunar footsteps — died in 2012.

Collins said he wished Aldrin and Armstrong could have shared the moment at the pad.