In 1969, at the height of the Cold War, the Apollo 11 crew carried commemorative medals to the moon to honor two Soviet cosmonauts who died as part of the USSR’s human spaceflight program

Statement About Honoring American and Russian Space Heroes During the Apollo 11 Mission

THE TWO MEN we hope will set foot on the moon represent all mankind.

Their achievement will be the world’s achievement. It is fitting, therefore, that the first lunar explorers carry with them some recognition of the sacrifice made by other space pioneers who helped to blaze their trail.

There is no national boundary to courage. The names of Gagarin and Komarov, of Grissom, White, and Chaffee, share the honor we pray will come to Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins.

In recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of brave men of different nations, we underscore an example we hope to set: that if men can reach the moon, men can reach agreement.

Note: The Apollo 11 crew carried with them two Soviet commemorative medals, one Apollo 204 … Continue Reading (1 minute read)

8 thoughts on “In 1969, at the height of the Cold War, the Apollo 11 crew carried commemorative medals to the moon to honor two Soviet cosmonauts who died as part of the USSR’s human spaceflight program”

  1. justamblingon

    For whatever reason, this made me pretty emotional.

    Before they left the moon, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong left behind an Apollo 1 mission patch in memory of astronauts Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom, and Edward White, who died during an accident in 1967, and two memorial medals for cosmonauts Vladimir Komarov and Yuri Gagarin, who died in 1967 and 1968.

    When asked about it, President Nixon was quoted as saying: “There is no national boundary to courage. The names of Gagarin and Komarov, of Grissom, White, and Chaffee, share the honor we pray will come to Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins. In recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of brave men of different nations, we underscore an example we hope to set: that if men can reach the moon, men can reach agreement.”

  2. bradster24

    “Your losses are our losses” (or something like that) is what I think the Astronauts said?

    Stuff like this undoubtedly helped to build Glasnost between the Soviets and Americans later when they met up in space with the Soyuz-Apollo link-up.

    The Astronauts and Cosmonauts quickly realized during the link-up that they were not so different after all, and had a huge amount of respect for each other as Pilots – because that was their common bond… they all loved flying, and to fly in space was the ultimate adventure for them.

    Alexei Leonov became very good friends with one of the Americans (I can’t remember his name – was it Stafford?), even though his Superiors didn’t like it one bit, and they stayed in touch to the end.

    EDIT: Alexei Leonov’s movie (“Spacewalker”) showed a fascinating insight into his life up until his first spacewalk. Apparently, he was somewhat akin to America’s Duke Nukem (such a badass hero).

    <Respect>

  3. No-Pizda-For-You

    It’s tragic that despite the Cold War and Space Race the only arena in which the Soviets and later Russians and Americans shared and share a common prerogative is not on the planet upon where they coexist.

  4. kgrimmburn

    Vladimir Komarov’s story has always stuck me. It might be the gruesome images and tragic end but I’ve never been able for forget his name and story.

  5. PopeyesBiskit

    Moments like this is why I believe space exploration has the potential to unite humanity under one purpose

  6. resqwec

    Lyndon Johnson sent pictures of the moon taken by the Apollo 8 capsule to Ho Chi Minh. And Ho Chi Minh responded by thanking him

  7. HalonaBlowhole

    The website itself is fascinating, as well:

    https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/about

    >While we have been hosted by UCSB from the beginning, the APP has not received any oprating funds from UCSB to support basic management of the site–document acquisition, database organization, database management….

    >With our success has come donor support. That support makes us extremely happy, and is essential to our ongoing operations. All gifts are in principle tax-deductible.

    Seems like the University should support this through more than just hosting.

  8. Limp_Distribution

    I forget who said it but it was said at the time. It wasn’t just Nixon and I just can’t bring up the memory. (Yes, I remember the moon landing.)

    “There are no national boundaries in space.”

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