tv Vice President Remarks at Neil Armstrongs Apollo 11 Spacesuit Unveiling CSPAN August 17, 2019 7:35pm-8:01pm EDT
seamstresses who handmade the spacesuit that we are unveiling this morning. it took another large team to conserve the suit so that we can once again share it with the world after 13 years off exhibit. that team included our spacesuit historians, conservators, and collections experts, but their work is only possible thanks to the thousands of individuals who contributed to our kickstarter campaign. thank you to all of those people who did their part to preserve this vital piece of space history.
the complexity of the suit in short it could support human life in the harshest environments. extreme heat and cold, radiation and the threat of cuts from sharp rocks had to be taken into consideration. as our curators note, these spacesuits were single person spacecraft. while they were designed to enjoy the punishments of a lunar walk, they were not designed to last half a century on display. we are happy that the work we have done will extend the life of the suit and ensure that generations to come can be inspired by it. equally important, we want to inspire visitors of the stories of men and women who have worn all of the -- neil armstrong's commitment to the mission and his calm demeanor were just what you wanted in someone piloting and odd looking craft like the one behind me to the surface of the moon for the first time. his humility was reflected in the plaque on the lunar module, which read, we came in peace for all mankind.
all three apollo 11 astronauts understood the importance of the journey they were embarking on and the significance that would surround the items from the mission. this is clear in the design of the hatch, led by the crew. they decided adding again -- they decided against adding their names, as previous missions have done. it was in recognition of the teamwork behind apollo. i can't wait to share the awe-inspiring symbol of teamwork that is neil's suit with our visitors, and i hope that people will join us this week as we come together to celebrate the honor and legacy of apollo and look to the great achievements to come. it is my pleasure to introduce the person tasked with making those next steps in space asked - exploration a reality, dministrator jimbridenstein.
[applause] jim: well, this is a great day for nasa, and for america. i am immensely grateful for the efforts of the national air and space museum board and the thousands of public contributors who graciously donated to help eserve neil armstrong's apollo 11 spacesuit for generations to come. it is an honor to have with us neil's oldest son, rick armstrong. commander neil armstrong's name is synonymous with on daunting the daunted courage, american spirit of exploration, and the evidence that humanity's potential is limitless. 0 years ago this week, armstrong, buzz aldrin and michael collins hurtled through the blackness of space, aiming at the moon, not an admission of
conquest, but a mission of peace. their success expanded humanity's understanding of our elestial neighbor and most importantly, it taught us something about ourselves, that together, we can accomplish any goal and overcome any difficulty. among armstrong's personal effects aboard apollo 11 were pieces of the wright brothers flyer, the wooden and fabric aircraft that succeeded in making humanity's first powered flight some 66 years earlier. in paying homage to this other set of pioneers, armstrong demonstrated a profound truth, that we must continue to remember even today, he nderstood that humanities rise from the ground to the sky, to space and on to the moon was not by chance. t was in fact by choice.
choice to boldly push the limit of science and technology, a choice to further discover the almighty's creation and use our newfound knowledge to elevate the human condition. ultimately, armstrong knew that space exploration was a matter of choosing greatness every day, no matter the risk, no matter he danger. the 1960's had leaders in the white house whose vision of american space exploration enabled the historic success of he apollo program. likewise today, our nation is fortunate to once again have leaders who are challenging the united states and america to live up to its true potential as the world's preeminent spacefaring nation. president trump and vice president pence have given us bold direction to return to the moon by 2024 and to mars.
we are getting it done. i want to be clear, we are getting it done. it is my honor to introduce today the vice president of the united states and chairman of he national space council. vice president mike pence. [applause] vice president pence: thank you, administrator jim bridenstine. thank you for your great leadership at nasa. to all of our honored guests, to our host, thank you for your great leadership here at the national air and space museum and especially it is a particular honor to begin this week remembering the mission of apollo 11 that started 50 years ago today with rick armstrong, with mary, with rick's oldest son, bryce armstrong. would you join me in welcoming the armstrong family and friends?
[applause] thank you for being with us. it is an honor to be here at the national air and space museum to unveil one of the most important rtifacts of what president kennedy called correctly the most hazardous and most dangerous and greatest adventure upon which mankind has ever embarked. on this day 50 years ago, apollo 11 launched from pad 39-a at the kennedy space center to begin its historic quarter million mile journey to the moon. just three days later, mission commander neil armstrong would wear the space suit that we will unveil in just a few moments when he took that one giant leap for mankind. when president kennedy declared in 1961 that the united states would put a man on the moon before the decade was out, it is important to remember in our time that he issued a challenge before our country was able to meet it. the truth is, we didn't have the
rockets, we didn't have launch pads, we didn't have space suits. we not only -- we not only didn't have what we needed, we didn't know what we needed. the risks were great. the odds were long. and they were so long that some even feared that if we could make it to the moon, we might not be able to make it back. it took engineers, manufacturers and technicians more than 10 years to design the 21 layers of abric, rubber, fiberglass that are just encased in this space suit that you will see unveiled today. but i expect it is -- it is moving for his family and for every american to remember the dangers and the risks he at the time that this space suit simply may have been the very last thing that neil armstrong ever ore.
in fact, there was a time -- during that time that scientists speculated whether when a lunar module like this one behind me landed on the moon whether it would be able to lift off begin. he risks were so real that history records that president nixon had a speech prepared rior to the landing in the event that the mission failed. but, of course, it didn't ail. after all, with 400,000 men and women behind the mission of nasa, with the hearts and the prayers of the american people, ow could it have failed? instead, as the president said to neil and buzz, shortly after they were saluting an american flag planted on the surface of the moon, in these words he spoke, "for every american, this is the proudest day of our ives. he said to them from the earth to the moon, "because of what you've done, the heavens have ecome a part of man's world,
and for one priceless moment, the whole history of man, all the people on earth are truly one, one in their pride for what they've done, won in your return safely to the earth. i remember that day. as i speak to americans younger han me, it is -- i feel even more privileged to have been sitting in the basement of our home as those snowy images came back, the black and white images of that incredible moment. stamped an indelible mark on my life, on my imagination, and frankly, on the imagination of my generation and every generation since. it was a contribution to the life of this nation, to the history of the world that's almost incalculable. at that time the nation held its breath. the nation had been deeply divided during the tumultuous 960's. so as we think of this incredible scientific accomplishment, it's also -- it's also important for us to see in this space suit and in that moment, also, another
contribution to the life of the ation. on top of the contributions to science and human understanding for that brief moment, the man who wore this suit brought together our nation and the world. now, true to their creed, astronauts never liked being called heroes. the man who wore this suit was especially resistant to such labels. ut if neil armstrong was not a hero, then there are no heroes. he once described himself in his words, quote, he said, "i am and s, r will be a white sock pocket protector, nerdy engineer. and i would also add proudly, he
was a graduate of purdue university in the state of indiana. neil armstrong was reserved, as his family and i were just chatting, he was in some respects even shy. that was how it struck me on the few occasions i had the great privilege to speak with him. in fact, i just told rick that my young daughter, charlotte, and i had the privilege of watching one of the last space shuttle launches with neil armstrong. i was struck by his humility and his modesty and how quickly he deferred whatever he had accomplished to the literally hundreds of thousands of men and women and engineers who made it possible for him to be there and to come home safe. but among his colleagues, it's important to remember on this day, when we unveil this historic space suit, that neil armstrong was called the ice commander. a generation to enjoy this display, i think would do well to remember the strength of character and courage of this man. just months before apollo 11,
armstrong lost control of an ungainly training to help astronauts train for the moon landing and history records he ejected three seconds before it rashed to the ground and exploded in a ball of fire. more remarkably than that, we're told that armstrong just dusted himself off that day and spent the rest of the day behind his esk. his son, rick, just reminded me that he flew this x-15 above us about seven different times. he was an extraordinary test pilot, a man of incredible courage, but his courage was displayed perhaps nowhere more profoundly than in the moments just before the apollo 11 lunar module landed on the surface of he moon. it was that coolness during the original landing that likely saved the lives of the two astronauts that were aboard the
lunar module. when the original landing area turned out to be so full of large boulders, history records that armstrong skimmed across the cross of the lunar surface and manually found a safe spot to touchdown. by the time he sat down to what we all know to be tranquility base, armstrong and aldrin had 17 seconds of fuel left remaining. it's incredible. so today, we remember the service and the accomplishments of apollo 11 and of its commander, neil armstrong. but we also -- we also do well to remember his courage in that steely professionalism that saw -- saw him through an entire career of incredible accomplishment and saw that mission to a safe landing and return home.
the debt this nation owes to our apollo astronauts, including the man who wore the suit that we unveil today, we can never fully repay, but today is an installment. the american people have expressed their gratitude by reserving this symbol of courage, and i'm told when the smithsonian institution launched the kick starter campaign to help preserve this invaluable piece of american history, they raised half a million dollars in five days to do it. and i also understand, for those looking on, that because of the success of this initiative, the reboot the suit campaign set an additional goal and now has raised more than 3/4 of a million dollars from people all over the country to preserve alan shepard's space suit. the american generosity has made it possible for this national treasure to go on display today for the first time in 13 years and now to be available in these storied halls for generations to
ome. so as we begin today to mark the golden anniversary of apollo 11, we do well to remember what they left behind in its capacity to inspire future generations. but let me also say, as i told rick backstage, i expect his dad would be pleased to know that the fact in this generation, we are renewing our commitment to american leadership in space and american leadership in human space exploration is also a tribute as well. i'm proud to say, after it lay dormant for a quarter century, president trump renewed the national space council, to renew -- to reinvigorate america's space industry. we've empowered private partners, unleashed america's space industry as never before, and under president trumps leadership, it's the policy of the united states of america to return to the moon within the next five years, and from there n to mars.
i have a feeling that the man who wore the suit that we will unveil today will be glad to know that the first woman and the next man on the moon will also be an american. apollo 11 is the only event of the 20th century that stands a chance of being widely remembered in the 30th century. and that's what makes a day like today so important. 1,000 years from now, july 20, 1969 will likely be a day that will live on in the minds and imaginations of men and women here on earth, across our solar ystem, and beyond. so it's important that we do what we do today, that the generosity of americans, the professionalism of the smithsonian and the national air
and space museum, the generosity of the armstrong family and their support makes it possible for this space suit to inspire, literally, generations of americans. and perhaps it also will inspire them to remember, remember those men who took that most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure in their time. t's remarkable to think, as we talk about that steely eyed nerve of apollo 11 commander neil armstrong that maybe we do ell this week to also remember a photograph, rick, of your dad shortly after he and buzz aldrin finished their historic moon walk. there is that picture of neil armstrong dressed in that very pace suit, covered with moon
dust, sporting a three-day beard, with a broad smile on his face exuding the greatest and purest satisfaction. the ice commander shed that and expressed what people were feeling in that moment. so thank you, again, to dr. stofan and those at the national air and space museum. thank you for preserving this national treasure. may it inspire future heroes that walks these hallways in their youth. may god bless the memory and legacy of apollo 11 commander neil armstrong and may god continue to bless the united states of america. hank you, all.
vice president pence: thanks for sharing your dad. -- with the world. god bless you. great. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] announcer: american history tv products are available at the new c-span online store. go to c span.org to check out all of the c-span products.
announcer: next, indiana university history professor michael mcgerr talked about women and feminism in 1960-1970's popular music. this class was from his course titled "rock, hip hop and revolution: popular music in the making of modern america, 1940 to the present." this program contains language and images that some viewers may find offensive. dr. mcgerr: good afternoon. here we go. hope you are doing well. this is almost too nice a day for education. i have a staggering number of powerpoint slides for this. get your bets down now on whether i can get through them or not. i'll omit my customary professor humor, about the ncaa tournament, for example. that's how serious this is. let's think for a minute, though, about where we're situated, what we're working on here. in this last third of the course that we started last week, we're