Webcast: 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11's Historic Moon Landing (All ages welcome)

Auxiliadora Neuquén  Flickr CC BY-SA

Auxiliadora Neuquén Flickr CC BY-SA

Gertenmaier was reassigned as a special assistant to Bridenstine's deputy, Jim Morhard.

"Almost 50 years ago, the Apollo 11 mission captivated the world as two American astronauts were the first to step foot on the moon, forever changing space exploration", said in a statement Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

In a serious shakeup at NASA Headquarters, company Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated on Wednesday that Bill Gerstenmaier, the broadly respected director of human spaceflight, has been changed within the midst of an ambitious push to meet the Trump administration's directive to send astronauts back to the moon within five years.

Bridenstine told the Post in an interview Thursday that he thinks "very highly" of Gerstenmaier and denied there was tension between them.

Also on sale are a pair of mission control panels used on space missions.

Several lawmakers, including Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), who chairs the House Science, Space and Technology; and Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK), chair of the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics; criticized the decision to reassign Gerstenmaier. "Given NASA is no longer pursuing the new mission directorate, Mark has opted to pursue other opportunities", Bridenstine said in a memo to employees at the time. The move is the latest in a couple of high-profile executive changes NASA has made in recent months as the agency strives to return humans to the lunar surface. "I know she cares deeply about the safety of our astronauts". An extended-time NASA veteran, Hill helped manage the growth of the company's new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, or SLS wanted to hold astronauts again to the moon.

Vice President Mike Pence announced in March that the Trump administration wished to speed up NASA's plans to reach the moon - launching the mission in 2024, instead of 2028.

"What we need now is urgency", Pence said during a speech to a crowd at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

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