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Apollo 11 mission recreated on Website

FAMILIES crowded around black-and-white television sets in 1969 to watch Neil Armstrong take man's first steps on the moon.

Now, they'll be able to watch the Apollo 11 mission recreated in real time on the Web, follow Twitter feeds of transmissions between Mission Control and the spacecraft.

Those features are part of a Website from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum commemorating the mission and Kennedy's push to land Americans on the moon first. "Putting a man on the moon really did unite the globe," said Thomas Putnam, director of the JFK Library. "We hope to use the Internet to do the same thing."

The Website ¨? ¨? will go live at 8:02am on Thursday, 90 minutes before the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the United States. It will track the capsule's route from the Earth to the moon, ending with the moon landing and Armstrong's walk ¨? in real time, but 40 years later.

Kennedy speech

Internet visitors can see animated recreations of key events from the four-day mission, including when Apollo 11 first orbits the moon and when the lunar module separates from the command module, as well as browse photos and hear a radio transmission between astronauts and NASA flight controllers.

The site also connects the mission back to Kennedy, who first set the goal to have a man on the moon by the end of the decade during a May 25, 1961 speech before Congress.

The Website's name was taken from another speech Kennedy gave in 1962, when he said: "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one which we intend to win."

Kennedy was assassinated six years before Armstrong set foot on the moon, but the Website also features photos showing the president's deep interest in the space program, including ones of him watching Alan Shepard become the first American in space.

Putnam said he hopes this inspires people to tackle the issues facing the country today such as global warming and poverty.


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