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At memorial service, friends say Neil Armstrong's 'big idea' lives on

WASHINGTON — Fifty years ago this week, President John F. Kennedy renewed America's vow to put a man on the moon within a decade. Now it's been almost 40 years since the last manned moon mission, and more than a year since the last U.S. manned spaceflight.

The Cold War rivalry with the old Soviet Union motivated America to get to the moon first, and it did. Neil Armstrong's footprints remain a symbol of man's capacity to wonder, and to achieve. But the Soviet Union is no more. And America isn't the space leader it once was.

"He represents the vision and curiosity that put us on the moon, and reminds us of what we can do if we choose to do it," said George W.S. Abbey, who joined NASA in 1967. "That's a startling contrast between where we were and where we are."

Endeavour to fly

to Calif. retirement

The baby of NASA's space shuttle fleet is about to leave home — for good. At sunrise Monday, Endeavour will depart Kennedy Space Center for a museum in California, with a two-day stopover in Houston, home to Mission Control and the astronauts who flew aboard the replacement for the lost shuttle Challenger. Endeavour is the second of NASA's three retired shuttles to head to a museum. The youngest shuttle will make the four-day trip to Los Angeles atop a modified jumbo jet, bound for the California Science Center.

Associated Press

At memorial service, friends say Neil Armstrong's 'big idea' lives on 09/13/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 13, 2012 10:37pm]
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