Omega and the Lunar Pioneers

June 30, 2009

BIENNE, Switzerland, June 30 /PRNewswire/ –

– The Speedmaster Reunites Four Moonwalkers

It is one of the defining events in history: on the 21st of July 1969 at
02:56:20 GMT, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon and was joined a few
minutes later by Buzz Aldrin. For a brief moment in time, the Apollo 11
mission united people from all over the world in a way that nothing else ever
had. Everyone of a certain age remembers exactly where they were when they
heard the words, “The Eagle has landed.”

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The era of lunar exploration was short: in the forty months which
followed, ten more astronauts would walk on the Moon and then . . . manned
exploration of celestial bodies would stop.

To mark its proud association with one of mankind’s greatest adventures,
Swiss watchmaker OMEGA brought four of the surviving Moonwalkers together
along with some of the other luminaries from NASA’s Apollo program.

Buzz Aldrin was joined by his colleagues Charles Duke (Apollo 16),

Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17) and Eugene Cernan (Apollo 17). Also on hand were

Thomas Stafford (Apollo 10), Apollo flight director Gerald Griffin and James
, the NASA engineer who was responsible for the rigorous testing which
led to the OMEGA Speedmaster’s selection as the only watch qualified for all
of the space agency’s piloted flights.

Nearly forty years after the adventures that placed their names in the
history books, the astronauts shared their vivid recollections of their
missions and of the things only a handful of human beings have seen.

They also recalled President Kennedy’s audacious aim, voiced in 1961, of
landing a man on the Moon and bringing him safely home before the end of the
decade. At the time, one American astronaut had been in space for less than
16 minutes.

The astronauts speculated on what it would take to rekindle the
enthusiasm to return to the Moon and more distant frontiers.

The space pioneers talked about the OMEGA Speedmaster which was part of
each one of NASA’s manned missions since May 15, 1963. It was the first and
only watch to be worn on the Moon and was, according to James Ragan, “the
only piece of hardware on Apollo which was unmodified throughout the program.”

It was a remarkable thing to see these men together in one place – they
represented all of us in some of our finest hours and reminded us of what we
can accomplish when we are united behind a common goal.

OMEGA is a company of the Swatch Group, the largest manufacturer and
distributor of watches and jewellery in the world.

    For further information, please contact:

    OMEGA International Press Office
    Rue Stampfli 96
    2504 Bienne
    Tel: +41-32-343-9211
    Fax: +41-32-343-9715



Source: newswire

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