ESRO welcomes Apollo 11 astronauts
Forty-five years ago this week, Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins, visited the Netherlands, just months after their Moon landing.
The three astronauts of Apollo 11 had been invited to the new International Congress Centre (RAI) in Amsterdam, where ESRO and ELDO were presenting several exhibitions on space research.
The astronauts were opened an exhibition called ‘Moon Travel 69’, held 9–19 October 1969 under the auspices of Philips N.V., in cooperation with NASA, the Smithsonian Institute, the US National Air and Space Museum and the US Information Agency. The main attractions were the original Apollo 8 Command Module capsule and a 13-metre-long model of a Saturn V rocket.
To mark this occasion, ESTEC staff presented to each of the Apollo astronauts a scale model of ESRO-1B (Boreas), the latest satellite to be launched by ESRO in October 1969.
In an earlier exhibition at RAI, running through September 1969, models of the IRIS and HEOS-1 satellites, Skylark and Centaure sounding rockets and a parachute-recovery payload were displayed. ESRO showed films and photographs, and provided assistance to several manufacturers with equipment and components used in space research.