Buzz Aldrin, a former NASA astronaut, did not attend the gala for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing despite the fact that he sponsors it with his non-profit space education foundation.
Aldrin said he missed Saturday’s Apollo Celebration Gala because of issues regarding the foundation.
His family said that he is suffering from mental decline, so he is in a legal battle with them. Some of the shows at the event which took place at the Kennedy Space Center under a Saturn V rocket included an auction of space memorabilia, an awards ceremony and a panel discussion by astronauts.
Through the hundreds of people present during the event, Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Galactic, was also there and he was awarded the Schweickart, who flew as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 9, told The Associated Press by Brian Cox, a British physicist.
Apollo missions was an influence on Branson’s generations, he states in a recorded video.
“Space is still hard, really hard. It still really matters. There would be no Virgin Galactic, no Virgin Orbit and no spaceship company had it not been for Apollo astronauts and the thousands of talented people who made their mission possible.”
The Pioneer award was received by a flight director for all of the crewed Apollo missions, Gerry Griffin who states:
“It’s very humbling; it kind of came out of the blue. It is so neat to know that we’ve passed the torch that will let this next generation take us to this next step.”
The first landing on the moon was a big event for NASA and for the whole United States of America which will remain in many American citizens’ memory who will pass on to generations.