The Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 44

By: Eric Eckstrom Email
By: Eric Eckstrom Email

HAZARD, Ky, (WYMT) - There are many moments in history worthy of remembrance, but every once in awhile, something happens that rises above mere history to become legendary...

“That's one small step for man one giant leap for mankind,” Neil Armstrong famously quoted.

Nearly four and a half decades since that iconic statement, local Astrophysicists say its impact is still with us

“It wasn't just a great thing in that moment, it’s what happened afterwards. It caused people to become very interested in space and science,” said Jeremy Wood.

Each year, thousands of kids get to cultivate that interest at The Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky. The facility is equipped with a simulation control room, space station and other educational resources.

Perhaps the coolest thing I discovered at the center was actual moon rocks gathered by the Apollo 11 team and given to the state of Kentucky by the Nixon administration.

The center also honors the achievement of another man born and raised in Eastern Kentucky. His name was John Goodlette. He was one of the brains behind the first spacecraft to land on mars which coincidentally occurred on July 20, 1976, the seventh anniversary of Apollo 11.

“He Grew up here in Hazard and studied and went to school here. He went on to become the lead designer - the lead engineer - that developed the Viking that landed on mars,” said Tom Cravens, director of the center.

He says the center is open to any member of the public who wants to know more about these men who changed out world.

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