NASA marks the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11's launch - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

NASA marks the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11's launch

(NBC-KTIV) - Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of mankind's first journey to the moon.

It was July 16, 1969 when Apollo 11 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center.

Four days later an estimated 500 million people back on Earth watched as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked into history.

"It sent chills through your body, plant that flag, and saw the U.S. flying on the moon. It was beautiful," Ethel Scott recalled.

For 40 years the gray and fuzzy pictures sent back and converted for live television were the only images of the historic landing that were available.

The original tapes shot on the moon were lost, and NASA now says likely recorded over by accident.

It was a national treasure lost, until the digital age.

Through computer enhancement, technicians are in the process of giving us a clearer picture of those first steps.

On the launch anniversary Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin was among those honored at Kennedy Space Center.

What they did 40 years ago is still making an impact even on those who weren't alive to see it.

"Sometimes you may fail, but you may have better luck next time," 12-year-old Justin Jones said after the ceremony.

NASA is now working on the next generation spacecraft and plans to send astronauts back to the moon by 2020.

They'll eventually travel on to Mars.

A test launch of that new rocket system, the Ares 1, is scheduled for later this summer.
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