NASA’s Apollo 11 mission famously landed on the Moon just shy of 50 years ago with Neil Armstrong becoming the first man to walk on the Lunar suface, shortly followed by Buzz Aldrin. The monumental event of July 20, 1969, brought the world to a standstill as millions watched anxiously on live TV, before Armstrong delivered his legendary “one small step” speech that marked the end of the Space Race with the Soviet Union. However, what many do not know is the legendary astronaut was actually forced to lie to NASA bosses about the Apollo 11 programme.
President John F.Kennedy was elected US President after a campaign that promised superiority over the Soviet Union in the arms race and domination of space during the height of the Cold War.
He promised to put a man on the Moon by the end of the Sixties and so NASA was formed in 1958.
It has been revealed during Altitude Film’s upcoming release “Armstrong” how the Apollo 11 team was put together.
Voiced by Harrison Ford, he says: “We were a congenial bunch, but really focused on the job.
“Buzz and I had both flown in Korea and his flying skills I was sure were good.
“His intelligence was high, he was a creative thinker and he was willing to make suggestions
“I’m not sure if I recognised at that point in time that might be considered eccentricities.
“Mike Collins was [also] a joy to work with, cheerful and relaxed.”
However, Armstrong also revealed how he was forced to lie to NASA bosses, after President Nixon took over office and pushed through with Kennedy’s wishes.
He added: “I was asked by the bosses, do you think you and the guys are ready?
“I wanted to say ‘well it would be nice to have another month’.
“But we were in a race and so I had to say ‘we are ready, we are ready to go.’”
Directed by David Fairhead, “Armstrong” will be in UK and Irish cinemas on July 9, to celebrate 50 years since the first moon landing.
The film was made with the full support of Mr Armstrong’s family after his death in August 2012 and includes previously unseen footage of history’s most famous astronaut.
It also features his own words based on interviews, writings and speeches as well as interviews with his first wife and two sons.