Apollo 11, Eileen Collins, and the Republican National Convention

By Science Editor

In an interesting turn from its usual political drum beat, the Republican National Convention took time to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Apollo 11, which was the first spaceflight to land Americans on the moon, and its crew were honored with a remarkable video commemorating the mission, the crew, and their exceptional bravery.

As the narrator in the video exclaimed, if Neil Armstrong were here today, he would remind everyone to respect those explorers who came before him. The video also mentioned America’s first major space exploration accomplishment when John Glenn, who was from Cambridge, Ohio, became the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20th, 1962.

The video also highlighted women breaking barriers in space exploration. Of these first women, Eileen Collins, who became an astronaut in 1980, was the first to command a space shuttle mission when she commanded the Columbia during STS-93 on July 23, 1999. And for a few short moments, Colonel Eileen Collins commanded the stage at the Republican National Convention.

During her speech, she stated that Americans aren’t afraid to take risks – the United States is a nation of risk takers. She also pointed out that

We are a nation of explorers.

A little later in her speech, she honored those astronauts that came before here when she happily stated on this day, 47 years ago, Neil Armstrong, who was from Ohio, and Buzz Aldrin were the first members of our species to step on the moon. But she also reminded those in attendance and those watching that the last time the United States launched its astronauts from American soil was more than 5 years ago

Colonel Collins also reminded attendees and viewers that the United States is a country of creators, inventors, and discoverers, and nations that lead in the frontier, lead in the world. Finally, she made clear that

We need leadership that will ask…again, ‘What’s next?’

Finally, she finished the celebritory moments by stating the country needs leaders that will “Make America Great Again!”

 

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