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Space History Photo: President Nixon and Dr. Paine Wait to Meet Apollo 11 Astronauts

space history, Apollo 11, NASA
President Nixon and Dr. Paine wait for the Apollo 11 astronauts to return. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, President Richard M. Nixon and Dr. Thomas O. Paine, NASA Administrator, watch Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin Jr., walk from the recovery helicopter to the Mobile Quarantine Facility aboard the U.S.S. Hornet. The President later congratulated the astronauts on July 24, 1969, by microphone, speaking through a window of the quarantine trailer.

During the eight-day space mission, Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Moon's surface and brought back rock samples for scientists to study. Collins piloted the command module in the lunar orbit during their 22-hour stay on the moon. The extravehicular activity lasted more than two hours.

Each weekday, looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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NASA Archives
NASA Archives

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: