I was all of five years old, and my grandparents had let me stay up late to watch.

I was already a space nerd, read as much as I could about the space program, knew all about the Mercury and Gemini missions, had written fan letters to the astronauts and even gotten a few replies, had a closet full of space and rocket toys… and now, there I was, lying on my stomach in front of the TV console, watching grainy images of the first men walking on the Moon.

Was it any wonder I grew up loving science fiction seeing as how I was living it? Seeing as how I was growing up as the human adventure in space was just beginning? Seeing as how I was born not long after mankind had managed to take a leap off our planet and into orbit for the first time?

I still remember vividly those images on that TV screen. I remember not moving from that spot on the floor for a long time, entranced by watching something that had never ever happened before in all of human history, watching something that a thousand years from now might be the only thing for which America is remembered… Neil and Buzz landing and then walking on the Moon.

What a triumph for a dream thousands of years old to be made into reality by technology and guts and know-how and imagination and romance and science.