Washington, July 22 IANS | 3 months ago

Honouring the first moonwalker Neil Armstrong, NASA has renamed the historic "operations and checkout building" at the Florida-based John F Kennedy Space Centre as the "Neil Armstrong operations and checkout building".

The John F Kennedy Space Centre was built in 1963 for the Apollo Moon programme.

Currently, the building is being used to assemble the first Orion spacecraft that NASA hopes will carry astronauts on flights beyond the Moon and to Mars.

The vehicle currently being outfitted is set for an uncrewed test flight in December.

In a live feed from the International Space Station thanking the first humans to walk on the Moon, flight engineer Reid Wiseman said: "Thank you for putting our country on this path that we remain on today. Without you gentlemen, I wouldn't be up here today. So my dreams came true, thanks to them."

Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, praised Armstrong, saying he was "one of the best, certainly the best test pilot, I feel, who was selected for the NASA programme."

Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins took off for the Moon aboard July 16, 1969.

While Collins remained behind in lunar orbit, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon July 20, 1969.

Armstrong famously described his first step on the Moon as "one giant leap for mankind".

For Collins, Armstrong would "enjoy prowling around this building, every nook and cranny".

The 'Armstrong' building also houses NASA's crew quarters where astronauts spend their final nights before flight, media reports said.

(Posted on 22-07-2014)

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