Revisiting the heart-stopping moments before Apollo 11 landed on the moon with the world watching

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — Fifty years ago this week, the Apollo 11 astronauts — Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins — suited up as America waited with bated breath: would the trio be the first Americans to set foot on the moon?It was a grand, new goal that was first set by President John F. Kennedy.“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said in May 1961.Astronauts who were preparing for the U.S. first lunar mission followed a complex training program. There were simulations. They walked in their spacesuits. They completed tests in the water.Americans counted the days — with so many questions about the mission — as did NASA. And then it was time.On July 16, 1969, families across the U.S. gathered in their living rooms — and hundreds of millions around the world — watched as the Apollo 11 lifted off into space.After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered in a lunar orbit. The next day, the lunar module Eagle, with Armstrong and Aldrin inside, separated from the command module where Collins remained.Hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the moon. But then, there was an alarm.“12-02. Standby,” Mission Control could be heard saying.Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston housed the engineers and flight directors who worked tirelessly to ensure Apollo 11’s mission was a success.A “12-02” alarm meant that the lunar module’s computer was overloaded. If the problem could not be corrected, the landing would need to be aborted.“Give us a reading on the 12-02 program alarm,” Armstrong could be heard saying.The control room responded with silence.They would continue with the mission.Armstrong flew the lunar module manually, evading boulders in their planned landing location. With the fuel running critically low, Apollo flight director Gene Kranz, back in Mission Control, gave a 60-seconds-to-abort warning.Critical minutes passed and then Armstrong could be heard saying: “The Eagle has landed.”“Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot,” Mission Control could be heard responding.“Thank you,” Aldrin said.Then, there was the sound of applause in Apollo Mission Control in Houston as some wiped away tears.Armstrong bounded across the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969. From the moon, he said those famous words: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”Nineteen minutes later, it was Aldrin’s turn to take his first steps.“Beautiful view!” he said.President Richard Nixon spoke to Aldrin and Armstrong while they were in space, telling them: “I just can’t tell you how proud we all are.”Yet, back in Apollo Mission Control in Houston, after the cheering and the tears, they knew they had a lot of work still left to do as they guided the men back home.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

JTG Daugherty Racing enters 25th anniversary with new sponsor strategy, youthful lineup

first_imgCHARLOTTE, N.C. – Ahead of its 25th season, JTG Daugherty Racing unveiled a new sponsorship strategy with Kroger behind its two fully-funded cars for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with drivers Chris Buescher and Ryan Preece.The cars and plan were made public on Wednesday morning during an announcement at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The No. 47 Chevrolet of Preece will highlight Kroger’s shopping and delivery options including online ordering. The No. 37 Chevrolet of Buescher will carry seven different shopper themes with each theme carrying a specific group of brands to communicate with fans when they are most likely to be focused on specific buying occasions such as spring cleaning in April or grill season in June and July.“It’s huge,” team co-owner and five-time NBA All-Star Brad Daugherty said. “Sponsorship is the lifeblood of the sport. We’ve got two fully-funded race teams and it’s just remarkable. … We’ve been fully funded the last several seasons so now we are getting to the point where we have our relationships in place, our drivers in place, our personnel, people in place, so it’s time for us to have some success because we feel we’ve done everything we need to do to in order to be better.”RELATED: Drivers on the move for 2019 seasonThe team is also introducing a new mobile technology where fans will be encouraged to text a key word from JTG Daugherty Racing advertising that directs fans to fun tips, sweepstakes and savings from Kroger for the various brands highlighted on the cars.“It’s the biggest blessing ever,” team co-owner Tad Geschickter said of the Kroger partnership. Geschickter’s wife Jodi is also a team co-owner as well.“It’s really like having big brother in the room when you are talking to sponsors. They’ve got a lot of stores and they sell a lot of products, so it’s fun.”The organization moved to two cars ahead of the 2017 season and this season will see Preece and Buescher behind the wheel. Buescher, 26, is the “veteran” of the group, having spent three seasons at the Cup level – the past two with JTG. The 2018 season saw Buescher post his best average finish (21.0) in the sport’s top series.“It is really nice to have that relationship and be able to be in the same place and the same car without a bunch of moving pieces for now the third year,” Buescher said. “For me, that’s something I haven’t had in a long time and can really appreciate. I feel like that can only help going forward.”(Twitter: @RyanPreece_)Preece enters the year with just five Cup starts to his name and spent the past two seasons running part-time with Joe Gibbs Racing. Two wins for JGR over the past two seasons impressed plenty around NASCAR and showed what the 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion can do in a national series. The 28-year-old Connecticut racer will be competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors against Daniel Hemric (RCR), Matt Tifft (Front Row Motorsports) and Tanner Berryhill (Obaika Racing).DEBATE: Who will win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year in 2019?“I’ve never won a rookie of the year to this date,” Preece said. “At the same time, I’m focusing on it but I’m focusing more on our team and achieving goals that we have set throughout the year and if we can achieve those goals, that’s going to put us in that hunt for that. Right now, if we obtain those goals, we are going to be fine.”Optimism is high heading into the season for the two-car operation especially with the team building its own cars (except for superspeedway cars) and Hendrick providing engines and pit crew support.“This is our 25th year in NASCAR and it started in a barn and every time we made a buck, we invested in more equipment,” Geschickter said. “We worked a long time to get here just like Ryan Preece has—pulling his own cars around the country and racing. Just like Chris Buescher has living above an ARCA shop trying to get a shot. I love the people we got in the cars. I love how everything has kind of come together after 25 years. We got all the tools. We got smart people. We got great partners. I really think it’s going to be a breakthrough year.”last_img read more

Community spirit with new Challenge Weymouth Reward Scheme

first_imgIn partnership with the local businesses of Weymouth, the team at Challenge UK have confirmed the launch of the new Challenge Weymouth Reward Scheme. The scheme has been introduced to celebrate the first year of the Challenge Family’s UK event in Weymouth, and further maximise the strong local links that have been forged by the events team.It offers a number of exclusive offers that have been put together especially for Challenge Weymouth competitors and supporters, allowing them to enjoy a number of special discounts across many popular local Weymouth businesses – including shops, hotels and restaurants across the town.Alan Rose, Challenge Weymouth Event Director is excited to be in a position to launch this scheme. He said, “As many of our Challenge Weymouth athletes are likely to visit Weymouth ahead of September, we thought it would be good to offer some special deals for them to enjoy. And recognising that they will travel with family and friends, we have also opened up this special deal to include them too.”He continued, “We have formed extremely close relationships with the local Weymouth community and this is also our way of thanking them for their on-going support and also help strengthen these partnerships moving forwards. We look forward to welcoming lots of you down to Weymouth over the next few months, and hope that your training is going well so far!”Weymouth Councillor Ian Bruce, the Brief Holder for Tourism in the town, is thoroughly supportive of the scheme and also very excited about welcoming the event to Weymouth in September.He said, “The Challenge Weymouth Reward scheme is the perfect way to offer a friendly welcome to Challenge Weymouth competitors and their supporters. We have a very lively summer of activities here in Weymouth and will be hosting a range of events, festivals and days out for the whole family. We look forward to welcoming many of you down to our beautiful coastal town.”Athletes competing in Challenge Weymouth 2014 will soon receive a Challenge Weymouth membership card, along with three key-fobs for closest family and friends. To find out more about the offers that are available athletes will be able to go to the new ‘Rewards’ page on the Challenge Weymouth website.For those in Weymouth checking out the course, athletes are also advised to look out for the Rewards Scheme posters in shops, hotels and restaurants across the town and surrounding area.www.challengeweymouth.com Relatedlast_img read more

Tackling the Covid-19 challenge head-on: we’re all in this together

first_imgThe world has been turned upside down by coronavirus (Covid-19), and the endurance sport community has been reeling with countless event cancellations and a knock-on effect across the board. The disruption to our lives, lifestyles and livelihoods will be profound.RunIn early March, the 2020 Tokyo Marathon did go ahead, but only for marathon elites and wheelchair elite athletes. All other events forming part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors have since been rescheduled. New York Road Runners (NYRR) has now cancelled all in-person events and training; and the New York Marathon has been rescheduled to November 1st. Meanwhile, other WMMajors have shifted dates:Boston Marathon, rescheduled to September 14thLondon Marathon, rescheduled to October 4thBerlin Marathon, rescheduled to September 27thChicago Marathon, rescheduled to October 11thThis represents a major disruption to race directors, athletes, sponsors and all other stakeholders. A concern also remains around whether or not rescheduled events at the back-end of 2020 will actually be able to go ahead, and how long travel and mass participation restrictions will remain in place.TriathlonIn the world of triathlon, the situation is similar. All events, large and small, have been impacted. The much-heralded Collins Cup, originally scheduled for May 30, has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for 2021.Elsewhere, IRONMAN has confirmed a number of event cancellations or postponements:The 2020 SUPERSEAL triathlon, originally scheduled for March 15 was cancelled.IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside triathlon, originally scheduled for April 4 has a planned future date in October 2020.IRONMAN 70.3 Florida, originally scheduled for April 19 will not take place as planned.The 2020 IRONMAN North American Championship St George triathlon, originally scheduled for May 2, has been postponed to September 19, 2020.IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa, originally scheduled for May 9 has been postponed.IRONMAN 70.3 Victoria, originally scheduled for May 31 has been postponed.CycleFor cycling, the Paris-Nice early season pro rider event went ahead as planned, albeit on a scaled back basis. Since then, all major European races have been cancelled or postponed, including:Giro d’ItaliaParis-RoubaixStrade BiancheMilan-San RemoFleche WallonneLiege-Bastogne-LiegeSportive / gran fondo events have followed suit across the globe. To date, these have mainly been earlier season mass participation races. For example, the 11th edition of the Mallorca 312, originally scheduled for April 25 has been postponed to October 10, 2020.In a matter of days, any list showing cancelled events has struggled to keep up to date. The situation has shifted dramatically to one where an event actually taking place has become the anomaly.Key questions now surround major events such as the Tour de France and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Based on the current trajectory of the virus and ensuing travel restrictions it seems inevitable that these major events will have to postpone or cancel in 2020.Coupled with this, coaching camps are under the same restrictions as events. And, with events being a core destination for a coached athlete’s journey, and with athletes about to face economic headwinds, the coaching industry is equally feeling significant pressures.In the world of cycling, going beyond events, Europe has started to see a significant clampdown on recreational cycling activities. Italy, Spain and now France have introduced restrictions that make recreational cycling near-impossible.In these countries, cycling is generally only permitted if it is close to home and with necessary permissions in place. For example, in France an ‘attestation de déplacement dérogatoire’ (travel certificate) is required to avoid being fined whilst out cycling.These restrictions apply equally to running, as the clampdown on outdoor activities in certain countries, such as Italy, Spain and France, becomes particularly onerous.Taking on the challengesThe entire endurance sport industry is braced for challenging times ahead. Retail is already massively impacted as footfall dwindles. Even as factories in China and elsewhere in Asia come back on-stream, those production lines are now impacted by reduced market demand across the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.The endurance sport ecosystem has never before faced such unprecedented challenges. Yet, this is an industry and a community that thrives on challenge. So, it is hoped that initiatives across the globe can start to make us feel confident of a recovery in the medium term.We’re therefore going to try and keep abreast of the solutions, innovations and suggestions for a way through this mess.We’d really appreciate your input on this, and we will post items with your suggestions (after getting your permission of course). So, please get in touch via e-mail (see our contact page), or the comments area below, and give us your thoughts. This might be around the following areas:Virtual training and racing seem an obvious starting point. How can events, coaches and other stakeholders leverage these and ensure buy-in from athletes?Are there other approaches that can be taken beyond virtual that can help with athlete engagement?How should events, training camps and other group activities handle refunds in case longer term postponements are required? Can athletes be encouraged to support events even if racing cannot take place?Is an autumn/fall date for a rescheduled event realistic; and how can we plan amidst such uncertainty?How (if and when) do we lobby governments to permit outdoor activities while a clampdown ensues?Can we get clear guidance on group activities? There is safety in numbers when out training, but how can small numbers of athletes get together on ride/run/swim, etc., activities?What can gyms and studios do amidst such difficult conditions?Can the endurance sport industry build a better dialogue with insurance firms. Some may be holding out on business interruption payments, for example. Are there any options here?The above is just some food for thought as a starter. We all need to think this through and come up with solutions that can help keep businesses sustainable in the coming months (and years). We will reach out and begin discussion with industry stakeholders to get the ball rolling and we really welcome your input.We hope that you & yours are keeping well, and we look forward to hearing from you.Together, and as individuals, we can make the world a healthier and better place. Relatedlast_img read more

Arsenal complete Debuchy swoop

first_img0Shares0000LONDON, July 17- Arsenal completed their swoop for France defender Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United on Thursday in a deal reported to be worth around 15 million euros.Debuchy has been a long-term target for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners’ manager finally got his man as the right-back put pen to paper on a long-term contract. The 28-year-old, who was part of the French squad which reached the World Cup quarter-finals, is the ideal replacement for compatriot Bacary Sagna, who left Arsenal to join Premier League Manchester City on a free transfer last month.Debuchy, who is reported to have cost the Gunners around £12 million ($20.5 million, 15.1 million euros), becomes Arsenal’s second signing since the end of last season following the £30 million arrival of Chile winger Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona.“We are delighted to welcome Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal,” Wenger told the club’s website.“He has shown he can perform at the highest level with his club sides and also for France.“He is a quality defender who has good Premier League experience and I’m confident he will fit in very well with us.”Debuchy featured 46 times during an 18-month spell at Newcastle after spending the first nine years of his career with French side Lille.He helped Lille to a league and cup double in 2010-11.His performances also earned him his international debut against Albania in October 2011 and he now has 25 caps for France.Debuchy will join up with his new team-mates soon for pre-season preparations and is expected to make his debut at the Emirates Cup in the first weekend of August.He admitted playing in the Champions League was a major incentive to join Arsenal.“I’m very proud to be joining a great club like Arsenal and to wear its colours, it’s one of the biggest clubs in the whole world,” Debuchy said.“I’m looking forward to working with Arsene Wenger and to helping the team build on last season’s FA Cup success.“Playing again in the Champions League is a big excitement for me and I will do my best to help Arsenal compete for trophies.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more