The Armstrong Air and Space Museum hosted a special lecture by Don Thomas, Astronaut and Cleveland.
Before talking to the crowd about his experience as an astronaut, Thomas thought about the event that will take you to the Summer Moon Fest every year in your home stages.
"Neil Armstrong, walking on the moon, is probably one of NASA's most historic events, and I think of our country and maybe our civilization for planet Earth," says Thomas. "It was really an incredible moment, the first time people left planet Earth to go to another world."
The US has not been on the moon since 2011, but that does not mean that NASA is not working to get there again. Thomas says the future of the space program is a new rocket built by NASA, the Space Launch System or SLS. This rocket will eventually bring the US astronauts into orbit around the moon.
"It's getting bigger and more powerful than the Saturn V rocket that Neil Armstrong sent to the Moon in 1969," says Thomas. The first test launch is about a year and a half away, it will be unmanned, no astronauts aboard, we're only a few years away from bringing astronauts around the planet moon again. "
It's exciting to hear that the SLS will help bring astronauts to the moon, but Thomas says that's not all. He believes that the new rocket will be crucial in bringing NASA boots to Mars, but it will not be the boots of astronauts working now.
"The astronauts traveling on Mars are not this generation, and the astronauts walking on Mars are some of the young students I see here in the Armstrong Air and Space Museum," says Thomas. "I met a lot of them yesterday, they're in middle school, they're just elementary school, they have stars and a sparkle in their eyes, I can see the excitement I had when I saw Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. "
These twinkles and stars that Don Thomas sees on the little faces in the museum tell him that our future is in good hands and maybe just Ohio.
"The first American circling the earth came from Ohio," says Thomas. "One of the first three humans circling the moon came from Ohio, the first man on the moon came from Ohio, how about the first person on Mars, from which state should they come?"
Thomas thinks the answer is Ohio.