Locals reflect on past, look to future on Apollo 11 anniversary


BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Those who were around in 1969, like Janice Blair, remember exactly where they were, and how they felt, when we not only landed on the moon, but when our crews made it home safety.

“Are they gonna do this? Is it gonna work? And you were just thrilled when it do. I mean even if you were in your own living room you cheered,” she said.

Blair was just a teenager when she watched Apollo 11 launch into space. She remembers how incredible it was to see Americans on the moon.

“It was so exciting such an accomplishment, when you grew up thinking the moon was cheese,” she joked.

Now, 50 years later, she said there’s more to be discovered in space and hopes the next half century will bring more Americans, eager to step foot somewhere else in our universe.

“We have to explore the unknown. How else will we learn? I think we can accomplish almost anything we dream of,” she said.

12-year-old Altoona-native Josh Lang said anything is possible, even a man walking on the moon.

“It’s amazing you know like it’s basically, it was a fantasy before but now it’s just it’s real, you know,” he said.

Josh and his younger sister, Emma, said while they weren’t around 50 years ago for Apollo 11, the mission to the moon kicked off many other NASA projects, and there’s still a lot to discover and explore.

“It’s a really big universe out there, so we still don’t know a lot of things about the stars and the planets and the constellations,” Emma said.

Looking forward another 50 years, they think, as technology continues to advance, more and more people will be somewhere in space.

“I wanna go explore Mars because some people say people could possibly live there if they have the right technology,” Josh said

“We’re probably not that far away, but probably visit most of our solar system, you know, because technology will definitely advance faster over the years,” Emma said.

For all of those kids, young and old, who want to see more of space without the travel, there’s a show at the Hollidaysburg Planetarium all about the Apollo 11 mission. There are multiple times you can go, Friday at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. or Saturday at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. For more information and to make a reservation, you can go to the planetarium’s Facebook page.

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