I think after the assassination of JFK, it’s the most significant “Where were you when…?” event in our lifetimes. It was the time – as baby-boom teenagers and their parents – we stayed glued to our TV sets all night on July 20, 1969, to watch U.S. astronauts land their Apollo 11 module on the moon and then watched former test pilot Neil Armstrong take those famous steps and speak to the world.
“That’s one small step for a man,” he said. “One giant leap for mankind.”
In truth, however, the race for space began 50 years ago this week when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to be catapulted into Earth orbit aboard Vostok 1, a space capsule about as big as the Russian-built Lada.