Franklin Square astronaut reflects on 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

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FRANKLIN SQUARE -

This Saturday marks 50 years since a man stepped on to the moon.

For a 6-year-old from Franklin Square, it was a moment that changed his life and set him on a path to becoming an astronaut.

It was July 20, 1969 when the world watched as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon.

It was that night when first-grader Mike Massamino joined his family around the black and white TV to watch the very first man on the moon.

“I remember going outside and looking up at the moon and thinking there's people up there,” says Massamino. “It really touched me down deep in my heart, deep in my soul.”

It was then that his dream was launched. Massamino recalls a time when his mom made him an astronaut costume and he carried around an astronaut toy Snoopy.

“I wanted to be one of those guys,” he said. And that, he did.

 

Massamino did finally reach the stars as an astronaut onboard two space shuttle missions.

Massamino fixed the high-powered cosmic telescope called the Hubble while gazing at his earthly home.

Today, his childhood toy Snoopy is on display at the Intrepid Museum, which he says represents dreams, passion, inspiration and determination.

“For me the 50th anniversary of Apollo is a reminder of great things that we can do as a country,” he says.

Massamino is now a teacher and a senior advisor for space programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

He has also written a book about his trips to space.

 

 

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