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[i][b]Astronauts gold medal[/b]
The [Citizens Coinage Advisory] committee bowed to the wishes of four of the nation's first astronauts, endorsing an obverse design for a congressional gold medal to honor their exploits in space.
The medal honors John Glenn for becoming the first American to orbit the Earth in space on Feb. 20 1962, and the Apollo 11 moon landing mission of Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins in July 1969.
By a large margin, the CCAC endorsed a design favored by the astronauts, giving their selection 25 out of a possible 27 points. (More committee members were present when the medal was discussed than had been present for the review of the coin designs.)
But the committee dissented from the requested reverse for the medal, giving no votes to the astronauts' preferred design and recommending another design.
The CCAC's preferred design features a lunar lander hovering over the moon and a Mercury capsule over the Earth. It received 20 out of the possible 27 votes.
Committee members also voted to remove the language "Act of Congress, 2009" from the medal by a 5 to 4 vote.
It also voted unanimously to urge that the quote "We Came in Peace" on the reverse be expanded to add the words "For All Mankind." These are the words on a plaque left on the moon by Armstrong and Aldrin.
Much of the hour-long debate over the medal dealt with the role of astronaut Michael Collins, whom Michael Brown decried as "the most under appreciated astronaut."
During the mission, Collins remained above in orbit around the moon in the command module while Armstrong and Aldrin explored the moon's surface.
The CFA [Commission of Fine Arts] has agreed to back the same obverse and reverse recommended by the CCAC.[/i]
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