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tv   Fox News Reporting  FOX News  December 24, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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♪ fly me to the moon >> in september they bid well to a modern day columbus. >> neil armstrong was a testament to all americans of what can be achieved through vision and dedication. >>neil: the eulogy for the first man on the moon delivered by the last to leave it captures the spirit of all those who made that journey. ♪ let me see what spring is like on jupiter and mars ♪ >>neil: american heroes whose final mission ended 40 years ago. i am neil cavuto reporting from the kennedy space center in florida. it is hard for people my age to believe that most americans were not alive the last time a man walked on the moon, apollo 17 astronaut on december 14, 1972, a number of the explorers who made the trip passed away and the rest are in their late 70's and some 80 but the story sounds
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like something from the future, not the past. it is a story about how america was a combination of vision, high-tech know how and good old fashioned courage answered the challenge of a rival, stepped into the unknown and achieved what almost seems as unbelievable today as it was a half century ago. it was october 4, 1957, at the height of the cold war the soviets launched a beachball size satellite that orbited the earth for an hour. >> the world may never be the same. >> in 1957 condition i was in flight school, sputnik was the dawn of the space age which was the start of the space race. america competing with the soviets for scientific dominance but in a world where america worried about missiles, science
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spelled "national security." >> the cold war was prolonged, it was going on and no one could see an end to it, and there were underlying risks of nuclear confrontation. >> the next step in the race was manned launches that required a few good men, seven to start. >> there were 110 originally selected to become astronauts by the air force and navy and it became a list of 326789 i was the only guy to flunk. i had what was known as pink pigment in the blood and they said, well, you know, you are out. >> you said at time when you were a boy you were not into dinosaurs. >>guest: when i did not get in
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the original selection i was interested in rockets before they could spelt -- spell it. >> the goal was to put a human in orbit before the soviets. on the second count they failed and 3 1/2 years after the shock of april 12, 1961, the soviets outpaced the united states again when a cosmonaut was the first human being in space. >> they beat us into orbit so we were behind. we were lagging. >> america scrambled to catch up less than a month later, on may 5, allen shepard, became the first american in space over three months into the presidency, john f. kennedy, like millions of other americans across the country, was glued to the television. >> am enshepard was an instant hero but the facts of life, the
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earth was circled a month before and alan want up-and-down in 16 minutes. john f. kennedy wanted to bet the soviets and sought advice from the top engineers, one was a famed rocket scientist. >> in alabama, president kennedy with missile expert begin as two day to you of the space centers. >> i read a letter from von brawn and he said, how can we beat the russians and the letter said, we can't beat them anywhere except to be the first on the moon. so, that is what we committed to. >> may 25, 1916, the president made a dramatic announce president before a joint session of congress. >> i believe this nation should commit to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the
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earth. >> we did not go to collect rocks but to stick the flag in before the russians. >> if we did not have the cold war would he have had the same zeal? >> no. no. no. to have something that would show america's ability to respond to a challenge as well as to do it in a full and open and peaceful way, that, really, caught the imagination of the american people and of the politicians at the time. >> catch the imagination, it did. on february 20, 1962, john glenn became the first american to orbit the earth. >> the view is tremendous. but we choose to go to the moon not because they are easy but because they are hard. >> the mercury program would have six manned flights and each
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mission a step closer to the ultimate goal, then, as mercury was winding down november 22, 1963, president kennedy was assassinated. >> to honor his memory and the future of the works he started, we shall now call the center the john f. kennedy space center. >> in april of 1964, nasa launched project gemini. >> gemini was start add two manned spacecraft and was specifically to she that we could dock. >> to get to the moon you had to have capability of two weeks in space, and rendezvous and get outside the spacecraft in a suit and you had to have guided re-entry. we practiced that in gemini so it was an extremely part of the
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program. >> june 3, 1965, on gemini four, the first american performed an extra vehicular activity, or spacewalk. american was still playing ketchup, hour, with a soviet cosmonaut performing a spacewalk three months earlier. the big prides was still up there if the night sky and the gemini missions were moving forward providing nasa with more information necessary for the ultimate quest. in december of 1965, gemini seven rendezvoused in orbit for the first manned spacecraft to do so. gemini seven doubled the amount of time any man had been if space. >> doctors at that time said, people cannot live in zero gravity for too long and we went up there for two weeks and we
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did see changes in the body but it was nothing that could not be overcome. >> that was significant because it meant we could go to the moon, that we could chance a mission of that duration, if not longer. that changed people's perspective? >> the moon flights were thought to be only a max of two-week flight. >> 14 day mission has shown us that man, indeed, adapts to the space environment and the additional data allows us to permit man to a lunar mission. >> apollo program got us to the moon but it almost cratered. [ laughter ]
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>> everybody knew a lunar mission was extremely dangerous under taking. a man died on a launch pad during a dress rehearsal. they were helpless to save him. >> friday january 27, '19 # # 6 they enter conducted a preflight test. test conductors were about ready
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to pick up the camera the instrument showed an unexplained rise in the oxygen flow into the safety. about 6 seconds later the voice of ed white came over the intercom. >> we have a fire in the cockpit. >> a fire in the cockpit. >> they were inside a spacecraft in pure oxygen. that's a recipe for disaster. all they needed was a spark and they got one. >> from a piece of exposed uninsulated wiring. >> why don't they get out? >> the patch hatch is on the ino to remove the match you had to pull it in turn it and slide it through the door. when the fire started you got 50,000 pounds of pressure holding it in place. >> all three men were dead. >> we lived near the wife of one of the crew members. >> he had the unenviable task of breaking the news to the wife. >> when i stopped in front of the house even though she had
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not heard i could tell by the look on her face she knew something was wrong. >> frank other man was instrumental in reviewing the issue. >> nasa investigate it had self that left the outside people without the slightest idea of wh >> i think that was one of the hallmarks of the program. >>neil: there would always be risks and nasa could learn from the mistakes and the program should go ahead. the launch pad disaster may have allowed nasa to get to the moon faster than scheduled because of
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that. >> we had an opportunity to learn from that mistake. it was a tragic and sad mistake but to accelerate the program. i don't think i'm alone in having said the fire really did make it possible to meet kennedy's goal to land on the moon by the end of the decade of the 60's. >>neil: nasa never designates apollo 2 or 3. and apollo four, five and six were unmanned to test the safety of the rockets and it took two years before another american crew went in orbit. apollo 7, october 11, 1968. the space program was back but a slow re-entry wasn't going to be enough to meet the deadline of john f. kennedy and beat the soviets but it would require a daring change of plans. coming up, nasa rolls the dice betting everything on number
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>>neil: 1968 was the year for chaos and conflict. martin luther king and robert f. kennedy assassinated and riots engulfing the city and the war in vietnam claiming the presidency for johnson and alienating millions of americans. against this backdrop, nasa resumed their manned flights and aimed to test in space the craft they hoped to land on the moon. a sudden change in plans turned apollo 8 into another make-or-break mission. >> it would not supposed to be a line far flight but it was to make sure everything was correct between two vehicles before we
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commit them to go to the moon. >> it was a big step forward, apollo eight but america could still be trailing the russians to the moon. >> it would send a spacecraft around the moon with animals to test whether they could test cosmonauts and tried to beat us not on a landing but to go around the moon and they were fairly successful but then in the soviet hierarchy they had a controversy, do we send the cosmonauts and they said send one more time to make sure the c.i.a. would get signals that maybe the soviets were going to try and big figure eight around the moon which would have undercut the p.r. potential of a lunar landing or a lunar orbital fight. >> and the module was not ready
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for space it was months behind schedule. rather than falling further behind officials had a bold idea. >> the module was delayed considerably and so nasa again in one of the great strokes of management, substituted apollo eight to a lunar flight. >> if it worked, it would leap frog russian in the noon race. >> it was a big gamble that nasa took at the direction of the president to establish that america was better than the soviet union. >>neil: a big gamble. after all, it was less than two years before that apollo one demonstrated how complex the missions were and the smallest oversite wrote be faith the no one knew that better than frank go rman point man.
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nasa tapped him. >> i was called back, will you volunteer to take apollo eight to the moon and i said we would be happy. we found out we would be going to the moon in august of 1968. >> it was the last minute, several months, really, before we were scheduled to lunch and we were asked to do that, ours was not to reason why but to "do or die". >> this was 1968, if it ended with a space disaster it could end america's quest for good. >> if it want successful, it could be america's failure. >> december 21, it launched from kennedy space center in florida. >> we have lit off. >> over 2 1/2 hours later the crew was given permission to become the first humans to leave earth orbit. using a state-of-the-art
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computer which had 1/13 memory of a modern calculator. the craft went on the three day journey to the moon. >> what does it look like? >> the moon is essentially gray. no color. >> we came in to earth-rise and we were shocked, dumb founded to see the earth. we had not seen it before, we were not briefed so there was a scramble if cameras. >> on christmas eve while orbit ing this picture was photographed and this shot has become one of the most reproduced photographs of space in history. >> it was the on thing in space that had color everything else was black and white and the earth was blue with white clouds and we were a long way from home and it was christmas and it was quite a moment.
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bill anders said it best we came to the moon and what got our interest was the earth. >> i vaguely regular that. i will take the credit. >> many of those who have been in space, there are no boundaries between the countries. >> you have more of a true perspective of our existence on earth because you look back at the earth how small it is and how you can cover it up with your thumb and you realize, we were so fortunate to have a body that was in the proper position from the sun, with the proper mass and everything, to allow life to begin. >>neil: with the world engrossed, the astronauts marked the holiday by taking turns reading from the old testament.
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>> god said lit the water be in one place and left the dry land appear and he called it earth. ought old testament is the basis of many religions and it affected most of people listening to us so we thought that was very appropriate. >> he relayed a citing that delighted children. >> lebanese -- please be informed there is a santa claus. >> it delays the christmas celebration. >> partly delayed but i planned ahead of time and gave my wife a present that said "from the man in the moon." >> apollo eight showed everyone up, certainly the soviets, but while america was now leading the space race, the john f. kennedy deadline was quickly approaching. >> there was only one giant step left to take on the pathway to
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to take control of your personal economy. get free one-on-one help from america's retirement leader. >>neil: welcome back i, neil cavuto coming from the kennedy space center in florida. president john f. kennedy set the goal to land a man on the moon before the decade of the 60's ended and under johnson americans caught up with the soviets in the space race and
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passed them when apollo eight orbited but no man had set foot on moon and when president nixon he was not to let the soviets get there first. the next leg of the space race was a series of sprints. >> we launched saturn every two months, just remarkable. >> that got them closer, with apollo 9, in march of 1969. it was the first to test the module in space. apollo ten in may of 1969, that was from 50,000 feet of the moon surface. that what a dress rehearsal for the landing of apollo 11
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commanded by neil armstrong. >> what are the plans in the event that it does not come up? >> well, we have chosen not to think about that. >>neil: the other two crew members were michael collins and buzz aldrin who would walk on the moon with article strong. >> a lot of gossip back and forth about how it ended up kneel am strong was the first. but you were supposed to be, right? >>guest: in was an uncertainty and the senior person has the responsibility for much more requirement, it it would seem the outside activity should be the job of the junior person. >>neil: who was that supposed to be? you? armstrong? who? >>guest: there is a lot of
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discussion about the command irleading his troops and the commander is a symbolic person and armstrong was closer to the door but i won't tell you how the decision was made. >>neil: it is weird? >>guest: i went home and told my wife, frankly, i just as soon be on the later mission where i would not have to put up with all the celebrity speechmaking for the rest of my life. >> show time, july 16, 1969. >>guest: you think of the countdown as the curtain opening, and worry is a wasted emotion, it clouds clear thinking that is absolutely needed when something was wrong. >>neil: the launch was dazzling. the 240,000 mile trip from the
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earth to the moon without incident. >> we have a happy home. plenty of room if the three of us. >> four days into the mission time to do what no not had done before, decouple the module from the command module and guide it safely to the moon. on the way down, armstrong and aldrin realized they everyone going into a boulder and armstrong took over diverted from the plan of the computer path and now flying above unfamiliar territory searching for a safe spot to land while running low on fuel. >> so we were on the far side of what was undesirable and i am at at the altitude of 100'. still a way off the ground and
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we got 60 seconds and i am getting concerned. >> it was fence at mission control, biting our nails and holding our breath because we are running out of gas and i called eagle 30 seconds, and 13 seconds later i heard "contact" and after a pause armstrong said, eagle has landed. and i responded with that. >> you got a bunch of guys now breathing again. >> it landed july 20, six hours and 37 minutes later neil armstrong took humanity for a step on the noon. what he said could be the most famous words of the 20 the century, or any certificate tone. >> one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.
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>> we asked, have you thought about what you are going say? >> well, i don't know yet, when i land i will thing about it. i never know whether to take him seriously. >> they only spent two hours and 31 minutes on the surface. but it was enough time to bounce around, set up scientific experiments, collect moon walks and take several famous photos. aldrin with the american flag and a footprint on the moon and the most famous. >> just walking and he said stop, hold it, and i stopped, looked at it, and he took the picture. people have asked, what is the significance of this picture? and i said three words: location, location, location.
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>>neil: as a 10-year old kid, i am looking at you watching this place, what was it like? >>guest: well, you used the same word i did, but i used "magnificent" because of humanity reaching outward and accomplishing something that people thought was impossible. >>neil: it made it to the moon six months ahead of the deadline john f. kennedy had set as the beginning of the decade. it was left to another president to congratulate the astronauts. >> for a priceless moment in the history of man, all the people on this earth are truly one. >>neil: he planned two different speeches, one if you succeeded and one if you didn't. fate ordained the men who went to the moon, to rest in peace
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the brave men know there is no hope for their recovery, but they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice, that would have been read if you did not make it. >> we were pioneers. it was doing something that was never done anywhere. >> armstrong and collins and aldrin splashed in 1969 in the pacific and the space race was over. >> coming up in the 1960's there was a hit tv show "lost in space" and a movie "marooned" as long as humans dreamed of exploring the heaven they shuddered the at possibility of never getting back but the astronauts of apollo 13 that nightmare almost came true. apoo [ male announcer ] at scottrade, we believe the more you know, the better you trade.
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>>neil: imagine if i told you that next week or next month or next year americans would land on the moon. how huge would that be? it is hard to believe that after apollo 11 the idea of going to the noon became almost old hat, after apollo 12 returned to the moon in november of 1969, some were actually feeling that the trips were getting routine. then the world was reminded, starkly, that they were anything but. >> the first time you flew across the atlantic and created a lot of news but, now, we have hundreds flights across the atlantic and no one cares but we never lost our enthusiasm, our excitement because we knew what we were doing was very important scientifically. >>neil: plenty of astronauts still wanted their shot to walk on the moon including the first
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american in space who had not been in space since that flight in 1961. >> he had been grounded for about nine years, and wiser heads in management said, wait, he doesn't have that much training, we can give him more training, would you mind taking 13, we will give 1314. they said, 13 would be fine >>neil: it would give lovell who went to space three times and orbited the moon, his chance to walk on the surface that much sooner. apollo 13 launched at 13:13 and would enter orbit on april 13 but the crew were having nothing but good luck, 56 hours into the flight they finished a broadcast showing how comfortably they lived and worked in weightlessness. >> the crew of apollo 13.
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>> nine minutes later oxygen tank number two blow up causing the number one tank to also fail. >> houston, we have a problem. words that would be forever linked to the commander. >> when the explosion occurred, i thought, why me? why not another one? i could not believe what was happening and then i said, well, it is me, it is now, so what's next? >> the normal supply of electricity, light and water, all lost, with no heat source, they were 200,000 miles from earth and going in the wrong direction. >> did you think you might die? >> well, we thought our chances were 50/50. we realize of a we saw the oxygen escaping it could be really bad. >> as the world wanted, ground control in houston faced a
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formidable task. thing of a way for the crew to fix their space ship, test it, and write out procedures for the astronauts to follow just to get home. >> we immediately went to the similarities to try to do in the similaritys what they had to do in the damned apollo 13 spacecraft to get them hope. >> trying to come up with ideas. >> one was to shut down the module to conserve the energy and use the lunar module using it as a sort of shuttle. >> the lunar module had power and batteries and oxygen but not enough. if we could use it to get us back home, but, if not, we were going to transmit as long as we could so the people would have some idea of what to do to correct for future flights.
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>> you are doing real good work. >> so are you guys. >> sounded so calm but you, in particular, captain, you sound at ease. i am 200,000 miles from home, the space ship blew up and i would not be feeling optimistic. >>guest: people said you did not understand the situation, but another problem was high levels of carbon dioxide so they purged the deadly gas from the craft and keep oxygen level safe. this bought time for the crew who were running low on water and barely eating. >> you lost 14 pounds. >> i didn't realize it but i guess i was all charged up. >> they were sick, freezing, and tired but safe for now.
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>> mission control next had to get the craft out of the landing course and back on a return to earth. engineers in houston figured the crew could do that by executing two separate "burns" or accelerations. powering that up after the long trip was one of their greatest procedures. something like that would normally take three months to do and they figured it out in three days. >> we got smarter and smarter and then, let's not make a mistake. >> people across the globe hoped for a miracle, the crew splashed down safely in the south pacific ocean on april 17. >> it was a failure in the initial mission but in reality it was a triumph in the ability
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of people to overcome adverse it. >> that likely gave shepard the opportunity to walk on the noon nine months later and he made the moon the low gravity driving range launching two golfballs with a six iron he smuggled aboard. >> i fantasized about landing on the moon what i would do, how i would act. >> but lovell never got the chance to go back. >> so close but so far. >> apollo 15 launched july 26, 1971, with three aboard and apollo 16 launched april 16, 197 2. they were the first mission to use the lunar roving vehicle but they were winding down and would man ever return to the moon and
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>>neil: not after kneel -- neil armstrong made the famous walk, why can't we keep gum sticking from the shoe? that is how americans viewed apresident low as the ultimate human achievement to that point. or will it be for all kind? >> i have been asked a million times how does it feel to make the first step on the moon? i knew it was mine.
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nobody could ever fake it away from me. >> but gene almost gave up that chance, doing everything an not could do buzzing the moon in apollo ten but never set foot on the surface. he served the pilot for apollo 16 hoping to command a flight his own but there was in guarantee there would be an apollo 17, but he was given the final flight in the program. >> this is the last of the noon landings but not the least because it will be the best, right? >> that is how we feel. >> the crew. the first nonmilitary astronauts, the first ever launch at night took place december 7, 1972. the flight went smoothly. and this photo was snapped known as the blue marble picture. >> we had a view from about
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34,000 miles away and nasa says it is the most requested photograph. >> it arrived at the moon december 11 and during the descent, he learned that being in command while an honor is almost a heavy. >> you had to change things at the last second. >> you cannot pump "stop" and say, wait, we have a problem, let's talk. we were at the dead man's curb and if descent failed can you not stage fast enough to fire the other engine to get out. when way or the or you have to land. and when i touched the surface of the blue light that said "shut down" if you landed with the engine burning it is possible the back pressure could explode the engine and that ruins the day. so, it comes out, you press the button, and, boom, suddenly you
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are feeling positive gravity and the first thing i remember is, looking out at the mountain valley and realizing this i am now where no human being has been before. >> beautiful. beautiful. beautiful. the total time outside the spacecraft was 22 hours and that is the longest any crew had been outside a spacecraft. >> the rap is you wanted to be out there all the time. >> jack and ron had never flown before and i said, listen, you are only coming this way once. ♪ i was floating on the moon when day ♪ >> i said enjoy. they did. i did. >> but it was a natural response to our environment. >> going out further and stay out longer left them exposed. each minute involved risk as they discovered with the rover.
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>> gene hooked a hammer on the fender and break it off, and the dust was coming down on us. on the moon, dust equals disaster. >> dust affects the suit and you get warmer and use up cooling water faster, and in the direction sun the temperature rises well above the boiling point. it took some time but we clamped a new dust flap on made of taped together photographs that worked well for the rest of the mission. we became honorary members of automotive repair association. >> you got dust on the space suit and you could have burned up. >> you leave the earth and you put yourself if a new environment of risk and people say you got guts, i didn't have guts i knew what i was doing, i didn't go not to come back. >> soon it was time to come become but not before the sight of the earth blooming with color, atmosphere, and light, in a cold black sky profoundly
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affecting him. >> if i could take every human being with me for five minutes and stand them next to me on the surface and look back at the earth, the world would be a better place to live in. no question if my mind there is a creator of the universe. >> no atheist in space, once you are exposed and see what you see. >> this is not two dust particles that came together that is inconceivable. >> after collecting almost 250 pounds of samples, the most of any crew, the mission was over. >> i started up the ladder and looked down at the final foot and i knew i wasn't coming back this way and i looked at the earth, all the blues of the ocean and the whites of the snow on the clouds and not tumbling through space but with purpose and order and turning up the
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ladder and i looked for the freeze point to keep the moment going. >> america's challenge of the day, that is the destiny of tomorrow. >> you were the last human being to touch that surface. how do you feel? >>guest: humble. we leave as we came and god willing as we shall return. got speed the crew of apollo 17. >> i am convinced the space program will come back, the country needs to have something to look forward to, to look up
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to, to be proud of. my grandmother on a farm in michigan has a ring telephone, no electricity, and outhouse and walked the first man walk on moon. >> i would like to see the next generation leave footprints on the moon the i hope that were hads. >>neil: it has been 40 years since we left the moon, and most of the astronauts thought we would go back or reach for more distant goals. that is the very nature of civilization, to continually build on our great accomplishment. yes, the space program has continued. yes, the technology of the space sugar land and mars rover are dazzling but we we never equalled the jaw dropping accomplishments of apollo or capture the imagination of younger americans and with our national debt reaching to the moon, it is hard to see taxpayers spending much on space delight any time soon. but maybe, maybe, maybe by spending a little time looking
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back we can learn anew the lessons that apollo showed up, if we americans set our sight on a goal and some have the will to achieve it, even the sky isn't the limit. i am neil cavuto. thanks for watching. .. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop?
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campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.


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