When I was a kid, I really wanted to be an astronaut. I knew every launch, every Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo trip to space. I was 12 when we finally made it to the moon. I think watching that on TV is one of my most indelible memories.

The anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 was two days ago. July 20, two days from now, is the anniversary of the moon landing and the first steps. I miss the excitement and the pioneering spirit it took to get there. I’m awed by the ability of the engineers (remember they did their work by hand or slide rule, not computer) and the bravery of the astronauts.

Relive the launch:

The landing:

The first steps:

The return: