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First moonwalk was 45 years ago today

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — It was 45 years ago today that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon.

Armstrong’s “one small step … one giant leap” on July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts.

To mark the anniversary, NASA TV will broadcast restored footage of Armstrong and Aldrin’s lunar footsteps tonight, beginning at 10:39 p.m. EDT. That’s the exact time Armstrong opened the Eagle’s hatch 45 years ago.

This is the first major Apollo 11 anniversary in which the events fall on the same day of the week as they did in 1969.

Tomorrow, NASA will honor Armstrong, who died in 2012, with a ceremony renaming the historic Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center. Both Aldrin and Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 command module pilot who orbited the moon, are expected to be there.

In a statement after Armstrong’s death, his family suggested another way to pay tribute:

“Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

%@AP Links

026-r-10-(Archive audio of Neil Armstrong, describing what it was like to walk on the moon on 7/20/1969)-“pretty out here”-In this archive audio from July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong described what it was like to walk on the moon. (20 Jul 2014)

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006-w-35-(Ed Donahue, AP correspondent, with Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin)–Forty-five years ago today, man first set foot on the moon. The AP’s Ed Donahue reports. (20 Jul 2014)

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031-a-11-(Mike Massimino, astronaut, in AP interview Friday, July 18th, 2014)-“going to Mars”-Astronaut Mike Massimino says landing on the moon was historic, and there are more milestones ahead for the space program. (20 Jul 2014)

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028-a-14-(Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon, speaking Friday, July 18th, 2014 at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum)-“being pulled down”-Buzz Aldrin says their weight on earth did not hold them back when walking on the moon. (20 Jul 2014)

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025-r-08-(Archive audio of Neil Armstrong, uttering his famous phrase after he had set foot on the moon on 7/20/1969)-“leap for mankind”-In this archive audio from July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong uttered his famous phrase after he had set foot on the moon. (20 Jul 2014)

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023-r-06-(Archive audio of Neil Armstrong, announcing Apollo 11 had landed on the moon, from 7/20/1969)-“Eagle has landed”-In this archive audio from July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong announced that Apollo 11 had landed on the moon. (20 Jul 2014)

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APPHOTO NY481: FILE – In this July 20, 1969 file photo provided by NASA shows astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. posing for a photograph beside the U.S. flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Aldrin and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong were the first men to walk on the lunar surface. The trio was launched to the moon by a Saturn V launch vehicle at 9:32 a.m. EDT, July 16, 1969. They departed the moon July 21, 1969. (AP Photo/NASA, Neil Armstrong, File) (16 Jul 2014)

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