Sinema Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11, Highlights Arizona’s Leadership in Space Exploration

Jul 9, 2019

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema, as the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, held a hearing highlighting Arizona’s role in training and preparing the astronauts on the Apollo11 mission that landed the first two humans on Earth’s Moon 50 years ago and the need to ensure America remains a global leader in space exploration.
“Apollo 11 demonstrated to the world that the United States is the leader in space, and my home state of Arizona played a critical role in that effort. As we enter the next phase of space exploration and return to the Moon, we need to continue to utilize American expertise and ingenuity,” said Sinema.
Sinema noted in her remarks that Arizona played a critical role in preparing for the Apollo 11 mission. Data collected from the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona was used to make maps of the Moon’s surface before the mission. The Apollo astronauts also hiked the Grand Canyon to learn about geology and visited Meteor Crater to get an up-close look at what they would encounter on the moon. During a test of the first-generation space suits at Sunset Crater, NASA learned that the suits were not thick enough to withstand damage from rocks, forcing a redesign. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey developed a 500 square foot “lunar environment” at Cinder Lake, Arizona, including forty-seven craters, to test wheeled rovers, hand tools, and scientific instruments. 
Earlier this year, Sinema introduced the Space Frontier Act with Senator Ted Cruz (Texas). Their bill streamlines and reforms the regulatory framework for commercial space launch and Earth observation operations, protecting our national security interests while maintaining American leadership in the global space community.