Moon landing SHOCK: Neil Armstrong admitted ‘it was a sham’ in incredibly candid interview – Express.co.uk

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NASA’s historic Apollo 11 Moon landing 50 years ago this month, launching into space on July 16, 1969. Just four days later, on July 20, together with astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Armstrong would become the first man to the walk on the Moon. But half-a-century ago when Armstrong, Aldrin and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins waved to the public for one last time before launch, not all was as it seemed. Now, on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, an incredible 60 Minutes programme on CBS from 2005 reveals how Commander Armstrong really felt on the day.Speaking to 60 Minutes’ Ed Bradley in an incredibly rare interview, the “reluctant hero” astronaut admitted his brave face was something of a lie.Asked about his display of confidence on the day, Armstrong: “Yeah, but it was a little bit of a sham, I admit.“You know, the reality is a lot of the time you get up there, get up in the cockpit and something goes wrong somewhere and you go back down.“So, actually, when you actually lift off it’s a surprise.”READ MORE: When did Apollo 11 launch, land on the Moon and return to Earth?Moon landing SHOCK: Neil Armstrong spoke candidly about Apollo 11 in 2005 (Image: GETTY)Moon landing: Commander Armstrong had his doubts despite public appearance of bravery in this moment (Image: NASA)Exactly 50 years ago, the three Apollo 11 astronauts boarded a powerful Saturn 5 rocket aimed at the Moon.The astronauts’ final days before the Apollo 11 launch were caught on camera in a series of captivating NASA photos.  It was a little bit of a sham, I admitNeil Armstrong, Apollo 11 astronautAnd the three men were photographed on July 16 leaving the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with Commander Armstrong at the helm.The astronaut walked out onto the launch pad with a thumb bravely stuck in the air, as the astronauts waved their goodbyes.Armstrong and his crewmates then took a transport van to Launch Complex 39A where their spacecraft waited for them.READ MORE: What did Neil Armstrong say during historic Moon landing?Then, at exactly 2.30pm BST (9.32am Eastern), Apollo 11 blasted off from Florida, US, and left the Earth for space.Despite whatever uncertainty the astronaut may have had in those final minutes before launch, NASA has remembered Commander Armstrong as a “humble giant” and one America’s “greatest explorers”.Armstrong died at the age of 82 on August 27, 2012, following complications from cardiovascular procedures.Buzz Aldrin, who accompanied Armstrong the Moon’s surface, recently revealed his heartbreak at not being able to celebrate the 50th Apollo 11 anniversary with his friendRobert Behnken, then chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office, said: “Neil Armstrong was a very personal inspiration to all of us within the astronaut office.READ MORE: Why did the Apollo 11 flag wave and flap in space?Moon landing timeline: Detailed look back at the Apollo 11 Moon landing (Image: GETTY)Moon landing: Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin before Apollo 11 launch (Image: NASA)“His historic step onto the Moon’s surface was the foundation for many of our personal dreams to become astronauts.“The only thing that outshone his accomplishments was his humility about those accomplishments.“We will miss him as a friend, mentor, explorer and ambassador for the American spirit of ingenuity.”Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin were made recipients of the US Presidential Medal of Honor upon their safe return to Earth on July 24, 1969.READ MORE: How Apollo 11 astronauts saw ‘MONSTERS’ on the Moon
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