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Leaders of Congress honored astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins with congressional gold medals in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on Nov. 16, 2011. The Gold Medal, Congress' highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions, was first given to George Washington in 1776. 

Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, achieving the feat aboardFriendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon, while Collins piloted Apollo 11'scommand module.

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Foto: NASA -John Glenn


Foto: NASA - Neil Armstrong

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