Apollo 11: Looking back 50 years later
Updated: Feb 17, 2020
This July NASA was host to several out-of-this-world events to commemorate the historic moon landing.
I was fortunate to join the festivities at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on July 19th.
It began with the words "We choose to go to the Moon", spoken by United States President John F. Kennedy on September 12, 1962, at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Just seven years later On July 16th, 1969 his words came to life as the Saturn V rocket (the largest and most powerful rocket ever built) took off on a mission to land a man on the moon for the first time.
After a three-day journey, humans on earth watched in awe as Neil Armstrong took one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.
The Apollo 11 crew members were welcomed home on July 24, 1969, as the only Earthlings who had touched the moon.
Being at The Kennedy Space Center during the commemoration was a remarkable experience. An actual Saturn V rocket was on display, hanging above our heads at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. The Apollo/Saturn V Center is accessible by the bus tour which was included in general admission. Standing under the shadows of this mammoth structure makes one realize the immensity of the beast that achieved what was once thought of as impossible.
Many of the original moon landing footage was shown in a way that placed visitors into the role of mission control. Visitors sat in a control room staged as it was in 1969. Here we got to witness the launch and successful moon landing of the Apollo 11 mission. The anticipation felt throughout was as if it was happening for the first time. A euphoric feeling rushes through as you watch the Eagle land gracefully on the moon’s surface with the voice of Neil Armstrong saying, “the eagle has landed”. An interesting feature that also aided in making visitors feel as if they took a step back in history was the 1960’s style furniture and vintage décor.
Although I was not alive to witness one of history’s most remarkable achievements, I no longer have to imagine what it would have felt like; I experienced it too.