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tv   Vice President Remarks at Neil Armstrongs Apollo 11 Spacesuit Unveiling  CSPAN  August 21, 2019 9:49pm-10:15pm EDT

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the first africans to land in north america would arrive here in 1619 and that would begin an amazing experience in the development of the united states. >> saturday official american history tv washington journal feature as we look back to the first arrival of africans to america. 400 years ago at point comfort historic fort monroe virginia. at 8:30 am eastern we are live with norfolk state university history professor, cassondra alexander newby for the history and origins of slavery in america. at 930 live coverage of the commemorative ceremony with speeches by government officials including senator mark warner, senator tim kaine, governor ralph northam, and justin fairfax. the history of africans in america from fort monroe live
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saturday beginning at 8:30 am on c-span's washington journal and on american history tv on c-span 3. mike pence. for neil armstrong's apollo 11 space suit at the national air and space museum in washington, d.c. the suit went on display for first time in 13 years to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of the apollo 11 mission to the moon. >> good morning. thank you for joining us as we kick off a week of amazing celebrations of humanity's highest achievement, the apollo 11 moon landing. we're deeply honored to have vice president pence with us this morning as we unveil neil armstrong's recently conserved apollo 11 space suit. also with us is jim bridenstein
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who leads nasa. i'm so happy that rick armstrong could join us to represent the family along with his family of the inspiring american hero who took humanity's first steps on the moon. thank you for being here, rick. during our year long celebration, we highlighted the team that made apollo possible. it took 400,000 americans doing every conceivable job to make it happen. that included the engineers, material experts, medical experts, and the amazing seamstresses who handmade the space suit. it took another large team to conserve the suit so that we can once again share it with the world after 13 years off exhibit. that team included our space
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suit historians, conservators and collections and exhibits experts but their work was only possible thanks to the thousands of individuals who contributed to our reboot the suit kick starter campaign. so thank you to all of those people who did their part to preserve this vital piece of space history. the complexity of the suit ensured it could support human life in the harshest of environments, extreme heat and cold, radiation, micro meteorites and the threat of cuts from sharp rocks all had to be taken into consideration. as our curator's note, the spacecraft but while they were designed to endure the lunar walk, they were not designed to last a half century on display. we're happy the work we've done will extend the life of the suit and ensure that generations to come can be inspired by it. we want to inspire visitors
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through the stories of men and women who worn all the space suits in our collection. neil armstrong's commitment to the mission, tenacity, perseverance and incredibly calm demeanor were just what you wanted someone in piloting and odd looking craft like the one behind me to the surface of the moon for the first time. we came in peace for all man kind. all three astronauts understood the importance of the journey they were embarking on and the significance that would surround the items from the mission. this is clear in the design of the mission patch which was led by the crew. they decided against adding their names as prior missions had done. as command module pilot michael collins who designed the final patch explained, it was in recognition of the team work behind apollo. i can't wait to share the all inspiring symbol of team work
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with visitors. i hope people will join us this week in the museum and on the mall as we come together to celebrate the hotter of the legacy of apollo and look to the great achievements to come. it is my pleasure to introduce the next person to make the exploration a reality. please welcome me in welcoming jim briden bs stein. >> jim? >> thank you. i appreciate it. >> well, this is a great day for nasa. and it's a great day for america. i am immensely grateful to the efforts of dr. ellen stovan, the national air and space museum board and the contributors who graciously donated to help preserve neil armstrong's apollo 11 space suit for generations to come. it is also an mondayor to have with us neil's oldest son rick armstrong.
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commander neil armstrong's name is synonymous with undaunted courage, the american spirit of exploration and the evidence that humanity's potential is limitless. 50 years ago this week armstrong, you about aldrin and michael collins hurdled through the unforgiving blackness of space aiming at the moon not on a mission of conquest but a mission of peace. it taught us something about ourselves. together question accomplish any goal and overcome any difficulty. among armstrong's personal effects aboard apollo 11 were pie pieces of the wright brothers flyer. they succeeded in making humanity's first powered flight some 66 years earlier.
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in paying hommage to this other set of pioneers, armstrong demonstrate aid pro found truth that we must continue to remember even today. he understood that humanities meet orric rise from the ground to the sky to space and on to the moon was not by chance. it was, in fact, by choice. a choice to boldly push the limits of science and technology, a choice to further discover the almighty's creations and use our nound knowledge to elevate the human condition. he knew it was a matter of choosing greatness. the 1960s had leaders in the white house whose vision enabled
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historic success of the apollo program. likewise today, our nation is fortunate to once again have leaders who are challenging the united states of america to live up to its true potential as the world's preeminent space faring nation. they have given bold direction to return to the moon on 2024 and thn en on to mars. we are getting it done. so it my honor to introduce today the vice president of the united states and the chairman of the national space council vice president mike pence. >> that's great. thank you for your great
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leadership to nasa, all of our honored guests. thank you for your great leadership here at the national air and space museum and especially it is a particular honor to begin this week remembering the mission of apollo 11 that started 50 years ago today with rick armstrong, with mary, and with rick's oldest son brice armstrong. would you join me in welcoming the armstrong family and friends? thank you for being with us. it is an honor to be here at the national air and space museum to unveil the most important artifacts of what president kennedy called correctly the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure upon which man kind has ever embarked. on this day 50 years ago, apollo 11 launch from pad 39-a at the kennedy space center to begin the historic quarter million mile journey to the moon.
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just three days later mission commander would wear the space suit that we will unveil in just a few moments. wh he took that one giant leap for mankind. when president kennedy declared in 1961 that the united states would put a man on the moon before the decade was out, it is important to remember in our time that he issued a challenge before our country was able to meet it. the truth is we didn't have the rockets. we didn't have launch pads. we didn't have space suits. we not only didn't have what we needed, we didn't know what we needed. the risks were great. the odds were long. and they were so long that some even feared that if we could make it to the moon we might not be able to make it back. it took engineers, manufacturers and technicians more than ten years to design the 21 layers of fabric, metal, rub eastern
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fiberglass that just are encased in this space suit that you'll see unveiled today. i suspect it is moving for every american to remember the dafrpers and risks at the time that this space suit simply may have been the very last thing that neil armstrong ever wore. in fact, there was a time and during that time that scientists speculated whether when a lunar module like this one landed on the moon whether it would be able to lift off again. the risks were so real that history records that president nixon had a speech prepared prior to the landing in the event that the mission failed. but, of course, it didn't fail. with 400,000 men and women
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behind the mission of nasa with the hearts and prayers of the american people, how it could fail? instead as the president said to neil and buzz shortly after they were saluting an american flag planted on the surface of the moon, in these words he spoke, "for every american this is the proudest days of our lives." he said to them from the earth to the moon, "because of what you've done the heavens have become a part of man's world and for one priceless moment the whole history of man, all the people on earth are truly one. one in their pride for what you've done, one in our prayers you return safely to the earth." i remember that day. as i speak to americans younger than me, it is -- i feel even more privileged to have been sitting in the basement of our home as the snowy images came back, the black and white images of that incredible moment. stamped indelible mark on my
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imagination and the imagination of my generation aand every generation since. it's a contribution to the world, it's almost incalculatable. the nation held its breath, the nation deeply divided during the 1960s. so as we think of this incredible scientific accomplishment, it is also -- it's also important for us to see in this space suit and in that moment also another contribution to the life of the nation. on top of the contributions to science and human understanding, for that brief moment, the man who wore this suit brought together our nation and the world. astronauts never liked being called heroes. the man would wore this suit was especially resistant to such labels. but if neil armstrong is not a
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hero, then there are no heroes. he once described himself in his words, he said, "i am and ever will be a white sox pocket protector nerdy engineer." and i would also add proudly that he was great of pursue university in the state of indiana. neil armstrong was reserved. as his family and i were just chatting, he was in some respects even shy. that was how it struck me on the few occasions i had the great privilege to speak with him. in fact, i just told rick that my young daughter charlotte and i had the privilege of watching one of the last space shuttle launches with neil armstrong. i was struck by his humility and modesty and how quickly he deferred whatever he had accomplished to the literally hundreds of thousands of men and women and engineers who made it
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possible for him to be there and to come home safe. but among his colleagues, it's important to remember on this day when we unveil this historic space suit that neil armstrong was called the ice commander. generation who's enjoy this display i think would do well to remember the strength of character and courage of this man. months before apollo 11, he lost control of a training contrivance to help astronauts train for the moon landing and history records that he jekted just three seconds brit crashed to the ground and exploded in a ball of fire. more remarkably than that, we're told that armstrong just dusted himself off that day and spent rest of the day behind his desk. his son rick just reminded me that he flew this x-15 above us about seven different times. he was an extraordinary test pilot, a man of incredible
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courage. but his courage was displayed nowhere more profoundly than in the moments just before the apollo 11 lunar module landed on the surface of the moon. it was that coolness during the original landing that likely saved the lives of the two astronauts that were aboard the lunar module. when the original ending area turned out to be so large of large bolders it would have doomed the mission of the crew, history records again that neil armstrong calmly took control of the lunar module and manually found a safe spot to touchdown by the time he sat down to what we all know to be tranquility base, armstrong and aldrin had 17 seconds of fuel left remaining. incredible.
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so today we remember the service and the accomplishments of aploel apollo and commander neil armstrong. we do well to remember his courage in that steely professionalism that saw him through an entire career of incredible accomplishment and saw that mission to a safe landing and return home. the debt this nation owes to our apollo astronauts including the man that wore the suit that we unveil today, we can never fully repay. but to day is an installment, the american people expressed gratitude by preserving this symbol of courage and i'm told when the smithsonian launched the kick starter campaign to help preserve this invaluable piece of american history, they raised half a million in five days to do it. and i also understand for those looking on that because the
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success of this initiative, the reboot, the suit campaign set an additional goal and now has raised more than three quarters of a million dollars from people all over the country to preserve allen shepard's space suit. the american people's generosity made it possible for in national treasure to go on display today for first time in 13 years and now to be available in these storied hauls f storied halls for generations to come. so as we begin to mark the golden anniversary of apollo 11, we do well to remember what they left behind in its capacity to inspire future generations. but let me also say as i told rick backstage, i expect his dad would be pleased to know that the fact that in this generation, we're renewing our commitment to american leadership in space and american leadership in human space
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exploration is also a tribute as well. i'm proud to say that after it lay dorm anlt for lay dormant, president trump unleashed america's space industry as never before and under president trump's leadership, it is the policy of the united states of america to return to the moon within the next five years and from there on to mars. i have a feeling that the man who wore the suit that we will unveil today will be glad to know that first woman and the next man on the moon will also be an american. apollo 11 is the only ventst 20th century that stands the chance of being widely remembered in the 30th century. and that's what makes day like today so important.
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1,000 years from now, july 1969 will be a day that will live on the minds and imaginations of men and women. here on earth, across our solar system, and beyond. and so it's important that we do what we do today. that the generosity of americans, the professionalism of the smithsonian and the national air and space museum, the generosity of the armstrong family and their support makes it possible for this space suit to inspire literally generations of americans. and perhaps it also will inspire them to remember, remember those men who took that most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure in their time. it's remarkable to think as we
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talk about that steely eyed nerve of apollo 11 commander neil armstrong that maybe we do well this week also to remember a photograph, rick, of your dad shortly after he and buzz aldrin finished their historic moonwalk, there is that picture of neil armstrong dressed in that very space suit covered with moon dust sporting a three day beard with a broad smile on his face exuding the greatest and purest satisfaction, the ice commander shed his demeanor for main and expressed from his heart what the people all over the world were feeling in that moment. so thank you again to dr. ellen
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stofan and the great stewards here at the national air and space museum. thank you for preserving this great national treasure. may it inspire future generations. may god bless the legacy of aplo apollo 11 commander neil armstrong and may god continue to bless the united states of america. thank you all. >> all right. great. >> rick, i think you need to be
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closest. no. >> sir if, you want to turn around and grab the suit. >> okay. >> we don't actually pull on it. i know. >> yeah, absolutely. ready? >> four, three, two, one. >> amazing.
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>> lots of people -- [ inaudible ] >> thanks for sharing your dad. god bless you. it's great.
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