Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program (Courtesy: U.S. Mint)
The world eagerly watched on July 20, 1969, as Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” E. Aldrin, Jr. took mankind’s first steps on the Moon. This unprecedented engineering, scientific, and political achievement was the culmination of the efforts of an estimated 400,000 Americans and secured our Nation’s leadership in space for generations to come. The Apollo 11 crew—Armstrong, Aldrin, and Michael Collins—safely returned to Earth on July 24, 1969, fulfilling the national goal set in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Nearly half a century later, the United States is the only country ever to have attempted and succeeded in landing humans on a celestial body other than Earth and safely returning them home.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the Moon, Public Law 114-282 authorizes a four-coin program: a curved $5 gold coin, a curved $1 silver coin, a curved half-dollar clad coin, and a curved 5 ounce $1 silver proof coin. (more…)
SpaceNews reports that NASA’s plan to put a lunar gateway in orbit around the moon and get astronauts down to the surface in 2028 took quite a pounding from some members of the National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group during the body’s first meeting last week.
“Personally, I think 2028 for humans on the moon, that’s 10 years from now. It just seems like it’s so far off,” said former astronaut Eileen Collins. “We can do it sooner.” (more…)
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The first steps on the Moon – fueled by a national will to excel – marked a turning point for America and humanity as a whole. At the core of that historic moment, however, lay the story of one man whose strength, perseverance and personal conviction brought him to the moment his foot would leave the indelible and iconic imprint on the lunar surface.
Entertainment Weekly reports the Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man” has received rave reviews following its debut at the Venice Film Festival.
“This is a strikingly intelligent treatment of a defining moment for America that broadens the tonal range of Chazelle, clearly a versatile talent, after Whiplash and La La Land,” writes The Hollywood Reporter‘s David Rooney, further praising the film’s “refusal to engage in the expected jingoistic self-celebration” that celebrating Armstrong’s first-man-on-the-moon milestone could have registered.
“Gosling downplays his natural charisma here to portray a man simply intent on doing a job, approaching it with the utmost seriousness and without ego. Armstrong shows zero willingness to consider what he’s doing in any self-aggrandizing historical context, his taciturn demeanor proving frustrating to the press, who want uplifting soundbites. That makes the characterization almost antithetical to the standard Hollywood conception of a historically significant figure of this type,” he continues. “Instead, Gosling pulls you in on an intimate level, whether Neil is tackling life-or-death situations mid-mission or simply staring at the moon from his backyard, as if the distant image somehow holds the secret to a successful landing. It’s a subdued, almost self-effacing performance that nonetheless provides the drama with a commanding center.”
The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw similarly heralds Gosling’s work, calling his lead performance one of “muscular intelligence and decency,” while pegging the film as a “mostly soaring” effort overall, and Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman similarly heralds the project as “turbulently spectacular” and a “docudrama in the most authentic and exciting sense of the word” through Chazelle’s “audacious strategy…. to make a movie so revelatory in its realism, so gritty in its physicality, that it becomes a drama of thrillingly hellbent danger and obsession.”
Locked in a bitter legal dispute with his own children, Buzz Aldrin was a no-show at a gala event on Saturday designed to raise money for the ShareSpace Foundation he created and to celebrate his signature achievement.
Aldrin skipped the black-tie Apollo Celebration Gala held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The event kicked off a year-long countdown to the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, which was accomplished by Aldrin and Neil Armstrong aboard Apollo 11’s lunar lander, Eagle, on July 20, 1969.
Aldrin is involved in a dispute over control of the foundation with two of his children, Andrew and Jan Aldrin. Buzz Aldrin has sued his children and his former business manager, Christina Korp, alleging misappropriation of funds, misuse of credit cards and slandering him with claims of dementia.
It has been our wish from the beginning, to avoid public discussion of our efforts to try to protect our father and his reputation from the debilitating effects of his worsening condition. We sought confidentiality through a motion with the court which held both parties responsible for maintaining confidentiality pending a formal judgement on the motion.
Legal counsel representing our father chose to defy the motion and make this effort part of a public spectacle designed to stir undue sympathy and support for the ridiculous lawsuit that they have brought on Dad’s behalf.
We have refrained from discussing the lawsuit publicly other than to debunk specific aspects of it that could hinder the ongoing operation of the Foundation. The time has come to recognize where the elder exploitation is truly occurring and address the flawed foundation of the lawsuit.
Let it be clear that every one of these allegations are products of the increased confusion and memory loss that Dad has demonstrated in recent years. Every one of them can be easily refuted by witnesses, bank and corporate records and, if necessary, we will prove this in court. But the responsibility for this outrageous lawsuit rests with those would seek to leverage his condition for their own agenda.
Although Dad’s current handlers want to spin this as “Buzz vs Family,” that could not be farther from the truth. We will not attack our father on any basis, for any reason. We are committed to protecting him, his reputation and his legacy. Our work together on this foundation is testament to that. We will not allow opportunistic agents who see an opportunity to grab the spotlight break our family apart.
We dearly love and respect our father and want him to return to us so we can continue our mission together to advance his dreams and legacy within the space program today, and with generations of explorers to come.
“We are deeply disappointed and saddened by the unjustified lawsuit that has been brought against us individually and against the Foundation that we have built together as a family to carry on Dad’s legacy for generations to come. When we established the current structure several years ago, it was done so at Buzz’s request and with his full support. If nothing else, our family is resilient and our ability to work together to solve problems and accomplish great things is strong. We love and respect our father very much and remain hopeful that we can rise above this situation and recover the strong relationship that built this foundation in the first place. We will not be commenting further on the lawsuit and ask your understanding and respect for our family privacy at this extremely difficult time.”
Buzz Aldrin has sued one of his sons, his daughter and the secretary of his foundation alleging misappropriations of funds and slander.
The lawsuit — filed on June 7 in Brevard County, Florida — alleges that Andrew Aldrin improperly transferred $475,000 from Buzz’s account at Morgan Stanley into his own bank account in 2017 and 2018 without the knowledge of the Apollo 11 astronaut.
The suit also alleges that Andrew Aldrin and Christina Korp, who is secretary of the Buzz Aldrin Space Foundation, have each “made monthly business and personal charges of up to $60,000 under the guise of trustee, power of attorney, and/or employee, and without the Plaintiff’s consent and/or knowledge or against Plaintiff’s expressed wishes authorized payment of such bills through Plaintiff’s personal checking account/funds.”
Buzz Aldrin also alleged that Andrew Aldrin and Korp “have effective established a de facto guardianship over Plaintiff” without a legal basis to have rights to his credit cards, bank accounts, trust money and other property.
“In their acting capacities and individually, Defendant Andrew Aldrin and Defendant Christina Korp, have assumed control and access to Plaintiff’s personal credit cards, bank accounts, trust money, space memorabilia, space artifacts, social media accounts and all elements of the Buzz Aldrin brand,” the suit alleged.
The lawsuits said that Buzz Aldrin invoked a revocable trust agreement appointing his son Andrew as trustee. Andrew also has power of attorney and serves as president of Buzz Aldrin Enterprises, Buzz Aldrin Space Foundation, and the Aldrin Space Institute at the Florida Institute of Technology.
The lawsuit also alleged Andrew Aldrin and Korp “have been for the past number of years been slandering Plaintiff in public and/or to other individuals or small groups by stating Plaintiff has dementia and Alzheimer’s. Defendants have used this tactic to gain further control over Plaintiff’s personal relationships business contacts, and assets.”
The suit also alleged that Andrew Aldrin, Korp and Buzz’s daughter, Janice Aldrin, have forbidden the retired astronaut from marrying and “deliberately have undermined bullied and defamed all of Plaintiff’s personal romantic relationships.”
The lawsuit says that Buzz revoked all powers of attorney and fired Korp from her position. However, Andrew Aldrin ignored the plaintiff’s request and Korp continues to be employed.
The legal action also names as defendants a number of organizations the astronaut established to represent him, including the Buzz Aldrin Enterprises, Buzz Aldrin Space Foundation, the Aldrin Space Institute and others.
NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2018 (Explorers Club PR) — What is fueling the next generation of exploration? Is it insatiable curiosity, new technologies, enduring spirit, or an extraordinary and exciting combination of all three?
These are some of the challenges that will face more than 1,000 of the world’s foremost explorers and guests at the 114th Explorers Club Annual Dinner at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square New York, on Saturday March 10, 2018. (more…)
STRASBOURG, France (ISU PR) — This week, more than 150 experts, engineers, educators and students from around the world gathered in Strasbourg, France to participate in the first International Moon Village Workshop. The Workshop was jointly organized by the recently-formed Moon Village Association (MVA) and the International Space University (ISU), and was held at the permanent campus of the ISU.
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to provide a coordinated process for developing and monitoring the implementation of national space policy and strategy, it is hereby ordered as follows: (more…)