CHICAGO (CBS) — Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the first man walking on the moon, as Apollo 11 landed on the lunar surface, and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took those momentous first steps.
A piece of that historic mission is on display at the Museum of Science and Industry, where the lunar module used for Apollo 11 training stands in the Henry Crown Space Center.
Museum of Science and Industry curator Voula Saridakis has one of the best jobs a space geek could hope for. Every day, she gets to see, touch, and teach others about the lunar module called LM 16.
“It was the primary lunar module trainer for all of the astronauts; all the way from Neil Armstrong, who was the first astronaut to walk on the moon with Apollo 11, until Eugene Cernan who was the last astronaut to walk on the moon,” Saridakis said. “We’re so excited. It has a working console inside of it even, and it just demonstrates this historic mission that really inspired us to imagine what future possibilities might be in terms of human space travel.”
Apollo 11 landing on the moon was a moment that united the nation and the world.
“This is something that was viewed by over 600 million people on TV, this mission. Just goes to show all the people around the world who were inspired by this mission, and by its possibilities for the future,” Saridakis said.
It was a moment that literally inspired generations to reach for the stars.
“Humans, I think, have always had an innate desire to understand the world around us and the universe around us. So these would be important first steps to really gain a better understanding of what’s going on in the world around us,” Saridakis said.
NASA is planning to restart space missions in xxx with the Artemis program. Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology.
The Artemis program could include a lunar gateway, which would orbit the moon and serve as a refueling station for rockets or even missions to Mars.