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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Armstrong stripped of seven Space Race titles

Apollo program marred by doping allegations

Alex Terrieur
La Lune de la presse internationale


Astronaut Neil Armstrong, who was up until now officially the first man to walk on the surface of the Moon, was posthumously stripped yesterday of all seven of his Moon Landing titles due to doping charges and continuing controversy about the authenticity of official records. By default the first man on the Moon now becomes Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, who as of yet has been cleared of any illicit doping activity during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission. Armstrong, who simultaneously passed away yesterday at the age of 82, was not expected to contest the decision.

Years of behind-the-scenes controversy preceded today's announcement, NASA sources reported. There have been allegations surrounding doping, physical inconsistencies and footage tampering of the landings from NASA outsiders for decades. However, no consensus has become clear as to the veracity of the possible conspiracy. There was enough evidence, however, to strip Armstrong of his titles based on evidence of doping while in space.

Public reaction was divided as news of the sanctions was announced through mainstream media outlets.

"I can't believe it," said Houston resident Alma Faithe Faydes. "It's just such a shock after all these years, because Armstrong was just such a legend around here. You know, whenever there'd be a Space Race we'd always expect Armstrong to win for the United States. But now, it's like we have to ask if it was just a cruel propaganda stunt. It's unbelievable."

Other citizens thought the decision was handed down fairly.

"The Space Race is anybody's game. At least today we have shown that cheating to get to the Moon first will no longer be tolerated, even if the Moon does belong to the United States," said a Dallas businessman, Juan Tim Bezzle. "It's a hard knock for Armstrong for sure, but he shouldn't have gone to the Moon if he needed to use illegal substances in order to reach an extraterrestrial body, even if it is contained by the Earth's gravity."

Armstrong's titles will be officially transferred in the coming weeks, one for each of the seven Apollo Moon landings. Despite his extensive collaboration with NASA, Stanley Kubrick was unavailable to comment on the decision. The La Rochelle Times will continue to follow the story as it develops.


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