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WBIR special on Apollo 11 moon mission

It's not just that the United States did something great. East Tennesseans played a key part in the project's success.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Americans have never been afraid to think big.

Fifty-one years ago, this country launched something so audacious that historians and scientists still marvel at it.

We sent men to the Moon -- and then watched as they took the first human steps on its bright face.

To mark the July 16, 1969, launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., we re-aired a 30-minute special we first brought you in 2019.

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It's not just that the United States did something great. East Tennesseans played a key part in the project's success.

Area scientists helped with all of the complex mission preparations. Inventors and engineers tinkered with the tools Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would use once they got to the Moon.

And regular East Tennesseans quietly did their part -- doing things as simple as sewing the bags that the astronauts would use to carry back rocks and dust from the lunar surface.

"From Tennessee to the Moon" you'll also learn how University of Tennessee researchers and scientists are preparing for our next mission -- even farther into the space.

Some day, we're going to the planet Mars.

We'll hope you'll take time out of your evening to watch and recall this historic moment for Tennessee, for America, for mankind.

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