I was 11 years old when Apollo 11 went to the moon. I watched live TV that night, 40 years ago, on a 5-inch Sony black-and-white TV in my bunk-bed, as Neil Armstrong exited the Eagle. Everyone else had already gone to bed, but it was inconceivable that I'd miss this moment in human history. I grew up on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs, and had consumed enough Tang and Space Food Sticks to get to the moon and back.
I watched the tiny, blurry image as Neil Armstrong climbed down the ladder, and waited for the big moment. The delay in the audio was agonizing, and the TV picture was not great, but I shared that moment in history, and I'll never forget it.
Some years later, in high school, I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting and greeting Jim Irwin, Apollo 15 astronaut, and the 8th person to walk on the moon. He was an amazing and inspirational man, and he had actually walked on another planet, and I got to spend the better part of a day with him.
I hear talk about us going back to the moon, and I wonder if I'll get to see that...