San Diego Air and Space Museum celebrates 50 years of progress since historic moon landing

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SAN DIEGO —  In honor of the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, the San Diego Air and Space Museum hosted a special exhibit to commemorate our nation’s first steps on the moon.

People across the nation and around the world stopped what they were doing to watch as Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969.

“We need to explore space. It’s out there — go see what’s out there,” said space enthusiast Jim Buxton.

Buxton and his grandson, Austin Damico, went to the museum Saturday to see the special spacewalk exhibit. Buxton said he remembers that moment in history like it was yesterday. “Everybody was on the edge of their seat hoping everything went right, and everything did. It was wonderful!” Buxton said.

Buxton hopes by sharing his stories and showing his grandson exhibits like these that his and future generations will be just as excited as he is about space exploration and travel.

“It’s just incredible to me that we’ve been able to push the limits so much and we just haven’t given up, we’ve just kept going. It’s incredible to see all of this stuff ,” Damico said.

Everybody young and old were moonstruck learning about the space program through the museum’s various displays and hands-on exhibits. The museum even had the original Apollo 9 space module and hosted a special screening of the Smithsonian’s recently released documentary “The Day We Walked On The Moon.”

“I saw space craft,” 7-year-old Keira French said. “I got to sit in one.”

No matter how far we’ve come, people are still in awe of that historic achievement 50 years ago,  where we are today and where we’re going.

“You look at your daily life, you look at things like your GPS, your cell phone. These are all things that impact your daily life that resulted from the space program,” San Diego Air and Space Museum’s David Neville said. “If you think about those things and how our lives are impacted, what about the technologies that might be created in the future by traveling to a place like Mars?

“The possibilities are endless. It’s wonderful to think about, and it’s fun to celebrate — like tonight’s the 50th anniversary, but you start thinking about where this could lead us and it’s the future.”

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