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Rome Reports

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50 years after man lands on the moon, a giant leap for mankind

It's been 50 years since July 20, 1969, when this small step for man, but giant leap for mankind was taken.

In these five decades since, the world of space exploration has changed. Franco Malerba, the first Italian astronaut, says it's a field that requires much courage.

First Italian astronaut
"Truly, we don't go up there just to have fun or to experience intense emotions. We go up to do the research they have entrusted to us. In a certain sense, we are the extended arm of the experts on Earth, awaiting the results of so many years of study."

A large team of researchers and engineers monitored Apollo 11's entire operation from Earth. Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin were forever marked in history books as the first to live the adventure.

Franco Malerba says being in space allows one to live out the pages of the atlases and the greatness of Creation.

First Italian astronaut
"We wonder, 'Is there anybody down below, when the lights of the cities are turned on and there certainly are! They are so intelligent, they learned how to interpret nature, in such a way to create light when natural light is gone."

Exploring the galaxy is something truly extraordinary. Few have the opportunity to see the planet Earth from that vast perspective, when its magnitude allows one's mind to see things from another point of view.

First Italian astronaut
"The view of the Earth, the view of the cosmos. The way of approaching Heaven in a certain sense like it's been interpreted by men, philosophers, by intellectuals and by the wandering Shepherd of Asia. It is a place of transition, of encounter between God and man, between the human and the divine. It is a strong experience that confirms that there is a greater force!"

It's a force that has spurred human reason to innovation and advance to achieve this giant leap for mankind.