Houston... The Eagle Has Landed

In: The Lonestar Weekly   Posted 07/20/2019

Fifty years ago, the world was transfixed by a grainy black-and-white image of Neil Armstrong descending a ladder preparing to take humankind's first steps on the moon. I was one of more than a half billion people, the largest television audience in history, glued to that TV screen on that day.

I didn't quite understand what this development would mean for the future. I just remember thinking at that moment how proud I was to be an American. I looked up to these three men, and I still do, and I marvel at their courage, their intelligence, and their patriotism, as well as that of tens of thousands of Americans involved in getting them to the moon.

That day, July 20th, 1969, established the United States as the world's leader in human space exploration. It also put Houston, my hometown, on the map as a hub for spaceflight innovation in the United States.

We all remember the very first words uttered by Neil Armstrong after landing. He said, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Of course, he was talking to the greatest minds of the generation who were working at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

To commemorate this historic mission in Washington, I lead a bipartisan resolution that was passed by the Senate this week to honor Apollo 11's three crewmembers – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Their bravery and skill made this feat possible. It also commends the work of the brilliant men and women who supported this mission on Earth, including mathematicians like Katherine Johnson and the astronauts who lost their lives in previous spaceflight missions.

For the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing today, we honor the brave and brilliant astronauts, physicists, engineers, mathematicians, and scientists of all kinds who made our nation the first to touch down on lunar soil.

We're grateful for their courage, their sacrifices, and their immeasurable contributions to our nation's space program.