NASA’s space programs: How they’ve changed

CNN and Discover magazine are publishing “Darkest Hours: The Future of Planetary Exploration” in September. For other travel advice and ideas, go to Plan Your Trip. (CNN) — After coming inches from the final…

NASA's space programs: How they've changed

CNN and Discover magazine are publishing “Darkest Hours: The Future of Planetary Exploration” in September. For other travel advice and ideas, go to Plan Your Trip.

(CNN) — After coming inches from the final steps to landing on the moon more than 50 years ago, the Apollo 11 astronauts returned home to NASA’s NASA test centers, where the news spread like wildfire:

“Apollo 11 completed the first moon landing by NASA… And for the first time, American astronauts are back home.”

That was the morning the world heard the final reports of the lunar landing.

“Apollo 11 may have been the first successful manned spaceflight by the U.S., but we’ve been working on space travel for a long time,” Michael Griffin told CNN’s Richard Quest at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in January 2011.

Griffin, the administrator at the time, presided over NASA’s ascent from the space programs of the Space Race to manned spaceflight under John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s, through the Soviet rocket races of the 1960s and into the Apollo program, culminating in the historic first moon landing almost 50 years ago.

“Over the years,” Griffin said, “we have overcome odds.”

Leave a Comment