SOURCE: USS Hornet Museum

USS Hornet Museum

November 08, 2011 11:02 ET

USS Hornet Museum: Apollo 11 Astronauts to Be Honored With Congressional Gold Medal

USS Hornet Is the Recovery Ship for Apollo 11 Mission and Home to Lunar Mission Artifacts

ALAMEDA, CA--(Marketwire - Nov 8, 2011) - The USS Hornet Museum, a registered state and national historic landmark and home of the largest collection of Apollo space mission artifacts on the West Coast, announces that the Apollo 11 astronauts will receive the Congressional Gold Medal in a ceremony on Nov. 16, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, along with John Glenn, the first American to orbit earth, will join a select few who have been awarded this honor and become the first astronauts to receive this award. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award given by Congress.

The USS Hornet is the home of the largest collection of Apollo mission artifacts on the West Coast, having played a pivotal role in the Apollo 11 space mission: The Hornet recovered the astronauts and the spacecraft upon their return to earth. The astronauts also spent several days in quarantine aboard the aircraft carrier.

"We send out heartfelt congratulations to these men, who were brave pioneers in the race to land humans on the moon. They are very deserving of the Congressional Gold Medal," said Randall Ramian, chief executive officer of the USS Hornet Museum. "The Hornet is very pleased to be part of this historic event in our important role as curators of the largest exhibit of Apollo space mission artifacts."

Bob Fish, Trustee and Apollo curator of the USS Hornet Museum, has been invited to attend the ceremony. He is the author of "Hornet Plus Three: The Story of the Apollo 11 Recovery," an in-depth look at the complex recovery process. Fish's book includes rare photographs, along with eyewitness accounts by key-Navy and NASA personnel involved with the mission.

The award is in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing by man in 1969. In 2009, President Barack Obama signed a bill awarding Congressional gold medals to John Glenn and the crew of Apollo 11. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to walk on the moon, while Michael Collins was the Apollo 11 command module pilot. The awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal honors two major moments of the early days of the U.S. space program.

About the USS Hornet Museum:
The USS Hornet Museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring people of all ages to experience the legacy of naval history, science, and space technology. A registered state and national historic landmark, the ship is permanently berthed at 707 W. Hornet Avenue, Pier 3 in Alameda, CA. The ship is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular museum admission is $6-$15 for youths through adults and there is ample free parking across from the pier. For more information, visit www.uss-hornet.org or call (510) 521-8448.

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