tv Vice President Remarks at Neil Armstrongs Apollo 11 Spacesuit Unveiling CSPAN August 28, 2019 4:25pm-4:53pm EDT
three gun violence prevention bills which includes banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, restricting firearms by those deemed bay court to be a risk to themselves and stopping those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing a gun. live coverage starts september 4th at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span and c-span.org. if you're on the go, listen to our live coverage using the free c-span radio app. vice president mike pence delivered remarks at the unveiling ceremony for neil armstro armstrong's "apollo 11" spacesuit 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. [ applause ] >> 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 ft "skpas space suit. also with us, jim brydenstine, who leads nasa's organization whose achievements we celebrate. 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. [ applause ] during our year-long celebration, we've highlighted the team that made "apollo" possible. it took 400,000 americans doing every conceivable job to make it happen. that included the engineers, the material experts, the medical experts and the amazing
seamstresses of ioc dover who handmade the spacesuit that we're unveiling this morning. it took another large team to conserve the suit so we could once again share it with the world after 13 years off exhibit. that team included our spacesuit 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, 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 ensures that generations to come can be inspired by it. and equally as important, we want to inspire visitors through the stories of men and women who have worn all the spacesuits in our collection. neil armstrong's commitment to the mission, tenacity, perseverance and incredibly calm demeanor were just what you wanted in someone piloting an odd-looking craft like the one behind me to the surface of the moon for the first time. the plaque reads, "we came in peace for all mankind." all three "apollo 11" 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 teamwork behind "apollo." i can't wait to share the awe n awe-inspiring symbol of teamwork with visitors. i hope people will join us this week in the museum and on the mall as we come together to celebrate the honor of the legacy of "apollo" and look to the great achievements to come. it is my pleasure to introduce the person who is tasked in making those next steps in space exploration a reality, please join me in welcoming nasa administrator jim bridenstine. jim? [ applause ] >> 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 stofan, the national air and space museum board, and the thousands of
public contributors who graciously donated to help preserve neil armstrong's "apol "apollo 1 1" space suit for generations to come. it is also an honor to have with us neil's oldest son, rick armstrong. 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, buzz 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. their success expanded humanity's understanding of our celestial neighbor and most importantly it taught us something about ourselves. that together we can accomplish any goal and overcome any
difficulty. among armstrong's personal effects aboard "apollo 11" were pieces of the wright brothers flyer. they succeeded in making humanity's first powered flight some 66 years earlier. in paying homage to this other set of pioneers, armstrong demonstrate aid pro found truth that we must continue to remember even today. he understood that humanity's meteoric 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 newfound knowledge to elevate the human condition. ultimately, armstrong knew that space exploration was a matter of choosing greatness.
every day, no matter the risk, no matter the danger. the 1960s had leaders in the white house whose vision of american space exlor ration enabled the 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 spacefaring nation. president trump and vice president pence have given us bold direction to return sustainably to the moon by 2024 and then on to mars, and we are getting it done. i want to be clear, we are getting it done. it is my honor to introduce today the vice president of the united states and the chairman of the national space council,
vice president mike pence. [ applause ] thank you so much. >> that's great. just great. thank you, administrator jim bridenstine. thank you for your great leadership at nasa. to all our honored guests, our host, dr. ellen stofan, 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, bryce 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 mankind has ever embarked. on this day 50 years ago, "apollo 11" launched from pad 39a at the kennedy space center to begin its historic quarter-million-mile journey to the moon. just three days later mission commander neil armstrong would wear the spacesuit that we will unveil in just a few moments, when 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 launchpads, we didn't have spacesuits. 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 10 years to design the 21 layers of fabric, metal, rubber and fiberglass that just are encased in this spacesuit that you will see unveiled today. i suspect it is moving for his family and for every american to remember the dangers and the risks at the time that this spa spacesuit 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 behind me 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. after all, with 400,000 men and women behind the mission of nasa, with the hearts and the prayers of the american people, how could it have failed? instead, as the president said to neil and buzz shortly after day were saluting an american flag, planted on the surface of the moon, in these words he spoke, "for every american, this is the proudest day 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. and 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 those snowy images came back. the black-and-white images of that incredible moment. stamped an indelible mark on my life, on high imagination, and frankly, on the imagination of my generation and every generation since. it's a contribution to the life of this nation, to the history of the world. it's almost incalculable. at that moment, the nation held its breath. the nation that had been deeply divided during the tumultuous 1960s. so as we think of this incredible scientific accomplishment, it's also -- it's also important for us to see in this spacesuit 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.
now, true to their creed, astronauts never like being called heroes, and the man who wore this suit was especially resistant to such labels. but if neil armstrong was not a hero, then there are no heroes. he once described himself, in his words, quote, he said, "i am and ever will be a white sox pocket protector nerdy engineer." and i would also add proudly that he was a graduate of purdue 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 a privilege of
watching one of the last space shuttle launches with neil armstrong, and i was struck by his humility and his modest city and how quickly he deferred whatever he had accomplished to the literally hundreds of thousands of men and women and engineers who made it 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 spacesuit that neil armstrong was called the ice commander. generations who enjoy this display, i think, would do well to remember the strength of character and courage of this man. just months before "apollo 11," armstrong lost control of an ungainly training contrivance designed to help astronauts train for the moon landing. history records he ejected three seconds before it crashed into 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 hthis x-15 above u about 7 different times. he was an extraordinary test pilot, a man of incredible 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 landing area turned out to be so large of large boulders that landing there would have doomed the mission and the crew, history records, again, that neil armstrong calmly took control of the lunar module, skimmed atop
the lunar surface and manually found a safe spot to touch down. 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. so today we remember the service and the accomplishments of "apollo 11" and of its commander, neil armstrong, but we also 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 who wore the suit that we unveil today, we can never fully repay, but today is an installment. the american people have expressed their gratitude by
preserving this symbol of courage and i'm told when the smithsonian institution launched the kick starter campaign to help preserve this invaluable piece of american history, they raised a half million dollars in five days to do it. and i also understand for those looking on that because the 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 alan shepard's spacesuit. the american people's generosity made it possible for this national treasure to go on display today for first time in 13 years and now to be available in these 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 exploration is also a tribute as well. i'm proud to say that after it lay dormant for a quarter century, president trump revived the national space council to reinvigorate america's space activities across a whole of government program. we've empowered private partners, unleashed america's space industry as never before and under president trump's leadership it is now 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 would be glad to know that the first woman and the next man on the moon will also be an american.
"apollo 11" is the only event of the 20th century that stands a chance of being widely remembered in the 30th century. and that's what makes a day like today so important. 1,000 years from now, july 1969 will likely be a date that will live on in 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 spacesuit 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 talk about that steely-eyed nerve of "apollo 11" commander neil armstrong that maybe we do well this week to also remember a photograph, rick, of your dad. shortly after he and buzz aldrin finished their historic moon walk, there is that picture of neil armstrong dressed in that very spacesuit 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 a minute and expressed from his heart what people all over the world were feeling in that moment. so thank you, again, to dr. ellen 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 heroes who walk these hallways in their youth. may god bless the memory and legacy of "apollo 11" commander neil armstrong and may god continue to bless the united states of america. thank you, all. [ applause ]
>> all right. great. >> rick, i think you need to be closest to the suit. >> no, no, no. you guys -- >> sir, if you want to turn around and kind of grab the suit. >> okay. >> we don't actually pull on it. >> i know. >> yeah, absolutely. >> you ready? >> four, three, two, one. >> yeah. >> that's lunar dust.
>> that actually is dust. >> sometimes it's very glassy, so it's actually -- >> yeah. yeah. amazing. >> i remember dad, the last video they did on the flight, made a special point to thank lots of people, as he did, as you said, all those people. thank you very much for doing such a great job with that suit. >> incredible. that's amazing. that's amazing. let's get a good shot here with all us. huh? >> thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. appreciate all your effort. on behalf of the space community. >> thanks for sharing your dad with the world. god bless you. great.
thanks, all. appreciate it. >> thanks for coming this morning. we appreciate it. all week, we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span3. "lectures in history." american artifacts." "reel america." "the civil war." "oral histories." "the presidency." enjoy american history tv now and every weekend on c-span3. here's a look at our primetime schedule on the c-span networks. starting at 10:00 p.m. eastern
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