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Michael Collins

Michael Collins

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-- The astronauts aboard the shuttle-station complex are celebrating the 40th anniversary of man's first moon landing with their own spacewalk.

Late Monday morning, David Wolf and Thomas Marshburn ventured out to hook spare parts to the international space station.

It is the second spacewalk in three days, and it's taking place 40 years to the day that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.

"How cool," is how one shuttle astronaut described it.

The space station crew, meanwhile, is working on a broken toilet that malfunctioned Sunday.

For the time being, the 13 astronauts are lining up at the two good toilets, one on the station and one on Endeavour.

NASA says it's not yet a serious problem.Also Monday, the Apollo 11 crewmen, fresh from a Washington lecture Sunday in which two of them expressed concerns about NASA getting bogged down on the moon, were scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House.In one of their few joint public appearances, the crew of Apollo 11 spoke on the eve of the 40th anniversary of man's first landing on the moon, but didn't get soggy with nostalgia.

They instead spoke about the future and the more distant past.Sunday night, a packed crowd at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum -- 7,000 people applied in a lottery for 485 seats -- didn't get the intimate details of the Eagle's landing on the moon with little fuel left, or what the moon looked like, or what it felt like to be there.They got second man on the moon Aldrin's pitch for Mars.

He said the best way to honor the Apollo astronauts "is to follow in our footsteps; to boldly go again on a new mission of exploration."First man on the moon Armstrong only discussed Apollo 11 for about 11 seconds.

He gave a professorial lecture titled "Goddard, governance and geophysics," looking at the inventions and discoveries that led to his historic "small step for a man" on July 20, 1969.Armstrong said the space race was "the ultimate peaceful competition: USA versus USSR.

It did allow both sides to take the high road with the objectives of science and learning and exploration."Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins, who circled the moon alone while Armstrong and Aldrin walked on it, said the moon was not interesting, but Mars is."Sometimes I think I flew to the wrong place.

Mars was always my favorite as a kid and it still is today," Collins said.

"I'd like to see Mars become the focus, just as John F.

Kennedy focused on the moon."The man who founded and directed Mission Control Houston, Christopher Kraft Jr., also jumped on the go-somewhere-new, do-something-different bandwagon."What we need is new technology; we have not had that since Apollo," Kraft said as part of the lecture at the Smithsonian.

"I say to Mr.

Obama: Let's get on with it.

Let's invest in the future."Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.

All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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