CAPE KENNEDY: Apollo-11 astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin underwent an extensive physical examination today [July 11] in preparation for their moon landing mission starting next Wednesday. As the spacemen began their medical tests at 8.30 a.m. (12.30 GMT) the countdown on the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch rocket ticked away on schedule.

Dr Charles Berry, the Space Agency’s medical director, wants to ensure that the men are in tip top condition, particularly in view of the programme of activities due to be carried out by Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon. After travelling in weightlessness for over four days, they will not be able to work as hard as they could before the flight. Dr Berry is also concerned about what might happen if one or more of the astronauts fall ill before returning to earth. He has often said it will be difficult to prove whether an infection is of lunar origin or something contracted on earth.

[Meanwhile, as reported by an agency in Islamabad,] Diplomats from 12 South Asian, Middle Eastern and North African countries, including Pakistan, are among nearly 100 of their colleagues from around the world who are scheduled to witness the historic US Apollo-11 moon launching on July 16, says a USIS release. … Ambassador Agha Hilaly will represent Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2019