‘Out of this world’ 50-year anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing carries local significance

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Photos courtesy Thomas Hanchett
Above: Pagosa Springs resident Thomas Hanchett celebrates the splashdown of Apollo 11 in Johnson Space Center Mission Control 50 years ago. After completing the monumental Apollo 11 moon landing, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins safely splashed back into the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969, four days after the Eagle made its historic moon landing on July 20, 1969, on the moon’s Tranquility Bay. Hanchett is in the foreground with white shirt, tie, sideburns and dark-rimed glasses. Below: A current picture of Hanchett holding a spacecraft model used on Apollo 8, 9, 10 and 11. The model is a replica for the restored Historical Control Center in Houston.

July 20, 1969, marked a momentous occasion in human history as it became known as the first time that humans landed on the moon via spaceflight.
The spaceflight, more commonly known as Apollo 11, represented a landmark moment not only for Cmdr. Neil Armstrong, Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, but for the nation, the world and for those in the command center guiding these men through it all.

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