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  New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal to honor Aldrin, Armstrong, Collins and Glenn

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Author Topic:   New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal to honor Aldrin, Armstrong, Collins and Glenn
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 05-03-2009 10:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Senator Bill Nelson's blog, posted on May 1:
Honoring space pioneers on the 40th anniversary of the moon landing

As we approach the 40th anniversary of men first landing on another celestial body, I, along with many of my colleagues in Congress, want to honor two major firsts from the early days of America's space program, starting with the lunar landing.

That's why today we announced legislation to bestow the distinguished Congressional Gold Medal - the highest civilian award given by Congress - on the crew of Apollo 11 that carried out the near-miraculous July 20, 1969 moon landing. Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. were the first and second humans to set boot on the moon, while command module pilot Michael Collins orbited above.

The "New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal," would also honor the first American who orbited the Earth, John Herschel Glenn Jr. At 87, Glenn is retired from the U.S. Senate and living in his home state of Ohio.

If the legislation (S.951) passes, Aldrin, Armstrong, Collins and Glenn will become the first astronauts to receive a Congressional Gold Medal. Along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom (which all three Apollo 11 crew members were also bestowed), the Gold Medal is the the highest civilian award in the United States.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
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posted 05-03-2009 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The text of the bill reads:
To authorize the President, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the historic and first lunar landing by humans in 1969, to award gold medals on behalf of the United States Congress to Neil A. Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon; Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr., the pilot of the lunar module and second person to walk on the moon; Michael Collins, the pilot of their Apollo 11 mission's command module; and, the first American to orbit the Earth, John Herschel Glenn Jr.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Section 1. Short Title.

This Act may be cited as the "New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act".

Sec. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds that --

  1. as spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, Neil A. Armstrong gained the distinction of being the first man to land a craft on the moon and first to step on its surface on July 21, 1969;

  2. by conquering the moon at great personal risk to safety, Neil Armstrong advanced America scientifically and technologically, paving the way for future missions to other regions in space;

  3. Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. joined Armstrong in piloting the lunar module, Eagle, to the surface of the moon, and became the second person to walk upon its surface;

  4. Michael Collins piloted the command module, Columbia, in lunar orbit and helped his fellow Apollo 11 astronauts complete their mission on the moon;

  5. John Herschel Glenn Jr. helped pave the way for the first lunar landing when on February 20, 1962, he became the first American to orbit the Earth; and

  6. John Glenn's actions, like Armstrong's,
    Aldrin's and Collins's, continue to greatly inspire the people of the United States.
Sec 3. Congressional Gold Medal.

(a) Presentation Authorized. -- The President is authorized to present, on behalf of the Congress, to Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr., Michael Collins and John Herschel Glenn Jr. each a gold medal of appropriate design, in recognition of their significant contributions to society.

(b) Design and Striking. -- For purposes of the presentation referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury shall strike gold medals with suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.

(c) Authorization of Appropriation. -- There are authorized to be appropriated $50,000 to carry out this section.

Sec. 4. Duplicate Medals

(a) Striking and Sale -- The Secretary of the Treasury may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold medal struck pursuant to section 3 under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, at a price sufficient to cover the cost thereof, including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and overhead expenses, and the cost of the gold medal.

(b) Reimbursement of Appropriation -- The appropriation used to carry out section 3 shall be reimbursed out of the proceeds of sales under subsection (a).

Sec. 5. National Medals.

The medals struck pursuant to this Act are national medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-23-2009 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The U.S. Senate passed the legislation on July 20, 2009.

On July 21, with the Apollo 11 crew present, U.S House of Representatives' Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon announced that the House had also passed the bill, awarding Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and John Glenn the Congressional Gold Medal.

The House also passed a resolution, "Celebrating the Fortieth Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing", which read:

Whereas President John F. Kennedy in his May 25, 1961, speech to Congress set forth the goal of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth;

Whereas the Apollo program was designed to achieve the goal established by President Kennedy by sending a crew of three astronauts to the Moon and returning them safely to the Earth;

Whereas the Apollo program built on the knowledge and experience gained from the Mercury and Gemini human space flight programs, as well as from precursor robotic lunar exploration activities;

Whereas the crew of Apollo 11 consisted of Neil Armstrong, Mission Commander, Buzz Aldrin, Lunar Module Pilot, and Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot;

Whereas the crew of Apollo 11 launched into space aboard a Saturn V rocket on July 16, 1969, on a 4-day trip to the Moon;

Whereas, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin successfully piloted the Eagle Lunar Module to the surface of the Moon;

Whereas, on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong took his first step on the Moon, he became the first person to walk on the surface of another celestial body;

Whereas the Apollo 11 Moon landing was the culmination of the efforts of tens of thousands of scientists, engineers, and other dedicated individuals and organizations;

Whereas the Apollo 11 Moon landing was experienced by millions of people all around the world by means of radio and television broadcasts;

Whereas the Apollo 11 astronauts left a plaque on the lunar surface that stated: `We came in peace for all mankind';

Whereas the successful Apollo 11 Moon landing was one of the most significant events of the 20th century and inspired a generation to strive towards great accomplishments in space and on Earth; and

Whereas the Apollo 11 achievement continues to inspire Americans as we prepare for future human journeys back to the Moon and other destinations in the solar system: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

  1. celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing;

  2. honors the brave crew of the Apollo 11 mission -- Neil Armstrong, 'Buzz' Aldrin, and Michael Collins; and

  3. commends all those individuals and organizations who contributed to such a historic achievement that continues to be an inspiration to the Nation and the world.
Commemorative copies of the resolution were presented to the Apollo 11 crew.


Photo credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

The President must still sign the bill for the medals, and there is no word yet as to when the physical medals will be presented.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-27-2009 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA: Neil Armstrong Remarks from Congressional Gold Medal, July 21, 2009


Video credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-09-2009 12:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Friday, August 7, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the bill that awards Congressional gold medals to John Glenn and the crew of Apollo 11.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 10-21-2011 12:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Speaker of the House John Boehner release
House and Senate Leaders Announce Gold Medal Ceremony for Distinguished Astronauts

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Members of Congress will hold a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony on November 16, 2011 to honor astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin.

Sen. Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, achieving the feat onboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. On July 20, 1969, Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon, while Mr. Collins piloted Apollo 11’s command module. All four have received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded with distinction. The Gold Medal represents Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.

Congress approved the New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act in July 2009 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing. S. Con. Res. 29, authorizing the use of the Capitol Rotunda for the ceremony, was recently approved by both the House and the Senate. Additional details will be forthcoming closer to the date of the ceremony.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 10-21-2011 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few more details:
  • The ceremony, which as stated will be held on Nov. 16 in the Capitol Rotunda, will be a ticketed event.

  • The medals' design was chosen in November 2010, which can be seen here.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 11-16-2011 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today's (Nov. 16) ceremony will air live on NASA Television and be streamed through the space agency's website beginning at 10:00 a.m. CST (1600 GMT).


Credit: NASA/Stephanie Schierholz

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-16-2011 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
John Glenn, Apollo 11 astronauts awarded Congressional Gold Medals

The first American astronaut to orbit the Earth and the crew of the first moon landing were bestowed by Congress with its highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, during a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (Nov. 16).

Mercury astronaut John Glenn and Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins accepted the medals from Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins, and Glenn are the first NASA astronauts to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Congress bestows the medal as its "highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-17-2011 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photos credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers

albatron
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From: Stuart, Florida, USA
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posted 11-18-2011 07:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At risk of sounding like a stick in the mud, and please know that I think these gents are more than deserving, and that the U.S. Mint is a class act, but why on earth does the Apollo 8 crew not get the recognition they deserve? They are every bit as significant as the Apollo 11 crew.

Maybe it's just me.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-18-2011 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 8 crew has been bestowed a fair number of honors, as individuals and as a crew, including the Collier's Trophy (Lovell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and both he and Borman were presented with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor).

As far as the Congressional Gold Medal, the Apollo 8 crew's mission was a tremendous accomplishment, but as the crew itself acknowleges, it was a still step toward the nation's goal: landing a man on the moon...

BMckay
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From: MA, USA
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posted 11-21-2011 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the honor of attending the event. It was well done and inspiring. John Glenn looked great and Neil Armstrong gave a good speech.

It was a who's who in the audience. I saw astronauts Franklin Chang-Diaz, Janet Kavandi, Michael Coats, Scott Tingle, Frank Culbertson, Thomas Stafford, Ken Mattingly, Piers Sellers, John Grunsfeld and others like Chris Kraft and one other Flight Director that escapes me. I probably missed a few others as well.

Even the politicans kept their remarks short.

All times are CT (US)

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