My Lifelong Wait To Visit Space, Step-By-Step, Over Five Decades

On July 20, 1969, like most young baby boomers, my eyes were fixed on a grainy, black-and-white television screen as Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s Lunar Lander touched down on the Moon as part of Apollo 11. A few minutes later, a ghostly figure emerged from the tiny spacecraft, climbed backwards down a ladder, then stepped onto the bright-white virgin lunar surface declaring, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong’s historic step that day was the beginning of the end of the Cold War space race America and the former Soviet Union had been waging for more than a decade, although no one

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