The Gold Medal, Congress's highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions, was presented to four storied NASA astronauts: John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin on Nov. 16, 2011. The award ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda was hosted by House and Senate leaders of both parties. (Includes excerpts of speeches by Neil Armstrong, John Glenn and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, plus video of Glenn's Friendship 7 and the Apollo 11 missions.) Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, achieving the feat onboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon, while Collins piloted Apollo 11's command module.
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