HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Discovery Green celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission Saturday with a free public event called A Giant Leap.
It was an action packed evening counting down to that moment at 9:56 p.m. when Neil Armstrong took his first step on the surface of the moon.
There was a crowd on Discovery Green when a paratrooper landed on the lawn—a part of the US Army Golden Knights official aerial parachute demonstration team.
The Army band from Fort Hood played patriotic music while kids played with the giant moon balloon and took photos in a makeshift space suit.
Kids also learning about NASA’s plan to eventually send a rocket to Mars from the moon and got to see a moon rock up close.
“Houston is the curation facility for all the moon rocks that came back from the moon, and so we have scientists, geologists that study those moon rocks, and they really learn how the universe was formed,” said Isidro Reyna, a NASA Public Affairs Officer.
Visitors to Discovery Green also got to meet astronaut Steve Bowen who has been to the International Space Station and done many space walks.
“The whole Apollo program I think really inspired me to learn and study science and math,” said Bowen. “There’s a whole generation of engineers and scientists who realized that you could do almost anything.”
The Grove Restaurant at Discovery Green recreated the drink Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin allegedly ordered when they arrived back to earth.
“Supposedly in the van on the way to the hotel that they were in, this is the cocktail that was shaken for them,” said Jesus Severance, bar manager at The Grove.