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Moon Landing: PIB Reminisces India's Celebration Of 'A Small Step For Man, A Giant Leap For Mankind'; Here's A Leap Backwards In Time

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • Press Information Bureau released the press release from July 20, 1969 from its archives explaining how India celebrated the historic event of Apollo 11's moon landing
  • India marked the event with a commemorative stamp, a special radio program, and a newsreel
  • US IT giant Google has launched an augmented reality (AR) feature which would allow the viewer to explore a 3D rendering of the Apollo 11 cockpit on the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of 'A small step for man, a giant leap for mankind' - the first successful moon landing of the Apollo 11, Press Information Bureau (PIB) on Friday, released the press release from July 20, 1969 from its archives explaining how India celebrated the historic event including a commemorative stamp, a special radio program, and a newsreel.

PM's address hailing the feat

The first letter dated July 21, 1969, or according to the Indian calendar -  Asadha 30, 1891, records the then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's message hailing the feat as 'one of the most significant moments in the history of man'.

She goes on to laud Armstrong and Aldrin calling them 'delegates of the irrepressible spirit of man - which discovered fire, thought, song and science, which crosses oceans and leaps to celestial bodies in a small vehicle of its own making.'

She then goes on to say that this achievement has risen the question of whether Man has made earth more habitable adding that we should concentrate on strengthening our own bonds of brotherhood.

Radio discussion and film reel:

In the second letter dated July 22 (Asadha 31, 1891), a press release announces a special radio discussion titled- 'Flight to the Moon' on July 23 which would be broadcast on Delhi 'B' wavelength on All India Radio. The panel consisted of eminent government officials, scientists, and academicians.

The third press release dated August 7, 1969 (Sravana 16, 1891) announced that the films division newsreel will present the historic event in a vivid manner on August 8, 19869 along with US President Richard Nixon's visit to India.

Commemorative stamp:

Following this, on November 2, 1969, the Postal and Telegraph Department had announced a new stamp commemorating the moon landing- a raw sienna coloured 20-paise stamp depicting the first step of man on the moon. 


PIB also shared the press release dated July 15, 1969, in which AIR had made special arrangements to cover the entire event from blast-off on July 16 at 7:02 PM to the landing of the lunar module on July 20. It also shared that it covered the moonwalk, the take-off from moon till its splashdown on Earth on July 24 at 9:45 PM.

What was the 1969 Apollo 11 mission?

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight landing the first two astronauts - Buzz Aldrin and Niel Armstrong on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, both American, landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969, with Armstrong becoming the first man to step on the lunar surface, commemorating the first spacewalk saying "A small step for man, a giant leap for mankind".

He was then joined by Aldrin and both spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft and collected 21.5 kg lunar material to bring back to Earth. The memorable spacewalk was captured with a unique photo where Buzz Aldrin posing on the Moon, allowing Neil Armstrong to photograph both of them using the visor's reflection. 

Google's celebration

Google has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the achievement throughout the month an with  augmented reality (AR) feature which would allow the viewer to explore a 3D rendering of the cockpit that took the astronauts to the moon in July 1969, doodles,  stories from behind the scenes characters who helped in the moon landing etc.
 

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