BOSTON (CBS) – Fifty years ago, men landed on the moon. It was the culmination of the vision of President John F. Kennedy to land on the moon by the end of the 1960’s.

On Wednesday, Boston’s JFK Library and Museum commemorated that achievement while exploring the future of space travel.

July 20, 1969 marks the day the world was transfixed by a grainy image coming all the way from the moon, as Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took those first historic steps, and Armstrong uttered the famous words “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

In a Space Summit hosted by Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, scientists, astronauts, and NASA experts came together at the library to consider what the words of President Kennedy mean for today.

Space Summit at JFK Library featuring astronauts from the U.S., Italy, Japan and Russia. (WBZ-TV)

As Kennedy said in 1962, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

A panel of astronauts from the United States, Italy, Japan and Russia talked about where the space program has been and where it will go in the future.

“This is a big deal,” Astronaut Tracy Caldwell said. “The fact that we are here for the 50th anniversary and we’re talking about going back to the moon is, I think, honoring President Kennedy and his vision.”

Astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson (WBZ-TV)

Astronaut Chris Cassidy said, “It’s really about how it sets us up for what’s next, going back to the moon and on to Mars. It’s just super exciting for us.”

The library also hosted a “Space Expo” designed for the next generation of space lovers.

“I think we should continue exploring space because there’s still more to see,” a young girl at the expo said.

A young boy at the event said he wants to be the first person to step foot on Mars.

The celebration continues later this summer on July 20, 2019, the anniversary of the moon landing, when the JFK Library will be hosting a “Space Fest.” The event will include a series of activities that will pay tribute to this incredible moment in history.

Lisa Hughes

Comments (2)