Rapid City, SD (KOTA TV) "Kennedy's charge to the nation in 1961 to by the end of the decade to send a man to the moon and return him safely to the Earth," says Tom Durkin
That challenge by late President John F. Kennedy was met when on the night of July 20th Neil Armstong and Buzz Aldrin stepped foot on the moon.
"It was a really significant event because we were in competition with the Soviet Union for technical superiority in space," said Durkin
At his home in Long Island as a 10-year-old Tom Durkin watched in amazement and his future with NASA was set.
"I was watching that like close to a billion other people watching that TV broadcast and live images from the moon," added Durkin
Making the landing that much more impressive is how a key element in getting to the moon.. technology has changed in 50 years.
"They say, and it's true there is much more computer computing capability on your cell phone now than in the entire Apollo mission." continued Durkin
With the technology advancement, Durkin is hoping this generation will set their sights beyond the moon
" I've seen particularly when I talk to kids, we've been to the moon, we've put someone on the moon but we've never been to another planet."
If we do land on another planet, it wouldn't only be an accomplishment for NASA but could bring back toys from 50 years ago.
"Many of the toys and the costumes for Halloween would be all astronauts and space-related. Those were the heroes of the day