More than 2,000 expected for celebration of Neil Armstrong’s life


by staff

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 13 at 12:20 AM

HOUSTON—Current and former astronauts will gather Thursday to honor the first man to walk on the moon.

NASA expects more than 2,000 guests to be at the celebration of Neil Armstrong’s life.

Preparation started Wednesday afternoon to prepare the cathedral that has seen so many historic moments for the morning service.  More than a dozen members of Armstrong’s family are expected, along with a who’s who of space pioneers.

Michael Collins who flew the Apollo 11 command module is scheduled to speak and also speaking is the last man on the moon Gene Cernan.

A number of active and retired astronauts from the Johnson Space Center are also expected.

The National Cathedral itself has a long association with space.

In 1974 Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Collins presented a moon rock they recovered. It is still displayed in the space window, which was also dedicated by the men that day.

The vast majority of the 2,000 guests have been invited either by NASA or the Armstrong family.  A handful of seats were made available to the general public.

Several members of the Texas congressional delegation, including Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, will be here.

The service starts Thursday morning at 9 a.m.