As space travel became a realistic possibility, a “space race” developed, with the United States pitted against Russia to be the first to achieve milestones such as orbiting the earth and landing on the moon. Americans were glued to television screens in July 1969 as Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the moon, and every previous and subsequent milestone has been the subject of intense interest among people in all walks of life. Texas was an integral part of this phenomenon and it left an indelible imprint on the culture and personality of the state.
About 50 years ago, the first human stepped onto the surface of the moon. President John F. Kennedy set the goal of a moon landing in 1961, and eight years later on July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 crew successfully performed lunar landing and return to Earth. It remains among the most impressive scientific achievements in history, and is particularly impressive when you consider that the mission was accomplished with much less technological firepower than the average smartphone.