Richard Nixon referred to as it the most historic telephone speak to ever make from the White House. It was the one that dubbed the moon.

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President Nixon dials astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin after they've landed on the moon in July 1969. Image: NASA.

President Nixon placed numerous phone calls native the Oval Office, but there was one he called the most historic contact ever make from the White House: His phone speak to to the moon.

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon top top July 20, 1969, millions watched on television as they climbed from your spacecraft, bounded throughout the lunar surface, and also planted one American flag. They additionally saw the Apollo 11 astronauts take it a long-distance call--a very long distance call--from the president.

"This absolutely has to be the most historic telephone call ever do from the White House," Nixon called them. "Because the what you have actually done, the heavens have end up being a component of male world, and as you talk to us from the Sea the Tranquility, the inspires us to redouble our initiatives to lug peace and tranquility come earth."

'This absolutely has to it is in the most historical telephone speak to ever made from the White House.'

President Nixon

In the video clip below, you deserve to watch the speak to in every its grainy, low-def glory. It was routed native Washington come Mission control in Houston, and also from there, it bounced to Manned space Flight Network food antennas scattered around Earth, traveled 238,000 mile to the Apollo Lunar Module, and also finally hopped come its can be fried destination: antennas attached come the backpacks lugged by Armstrong and Aldrin. Armstrong's solution was climate transmitted earlier to the Oval Office.

It all went relatively smoothly--if you deserve to forgive the low-grade audiovisuals. "For all its historical importance, it was usually an design test mission. For this reason the ghostly, rather jumpy black and also white images and also the regularly crackly audio native the moon," states science blogger David S. F. Portree, a space exploration historian at the U.S. Geology Survey.

The call used modern technology developed by the waiting Force, USGS, and several this firm contractors, consisting of AT&T's BellComm, one of the the smallest subsidiaries the the Bell System. BellComm, formed at NASA's inquiry in 1962, employed researchers plucked indigenous the legend Bell Labs. "It to be a large team effort, with nearly half a million people throughout the unified States involved at the height," Portee says, referring to the Apollo job as a whole. "To me, that's one of the really inspiring things about it. American came together and completed amazing things."

After bidding the president goodbye, Aldrin and also Armstrong crawled back into their space capsule for the three-day journey home. On July 24, along with fellow astronaut Michael Collins, castle splashed down around 920 miles off the coastline of Honolulu. They to be promptly choose up by the USS Hornet, and also once aboard ushered right into a cell phone quarantine facility--a modification camper--where they would invest 21 days. NASA want to make certain the astronauts weren't carrying alien germs that can exterminate life ~ above earth.

Once sealed inside, they gained to fulfill President Nixon. He to be on the opposite side of a thick glass window, and the chat wasn't virtually as superior as a presidential call to the moon.

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