Locals Remember Apollo 11, 50 Years Later

Families attended the Fleet Science Center’s new attractions Saturday. It was also the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, those who went shared their memories from July 20, 1969.

Steve Drew, is a retired high school science teacher of 33 years at San Marcos High School. He grew up in Chula Vista and credits Apollo 11 for launching him into his science career, along with his father, who was a doctor.

“That’s why I majored in chemistry,” said Drew. “I was sitting in front of the television with my parents when the picture came on, live from the moon! It was an amazing thing. Back in the sixties, I mean that was just far beyond cutting edge technology.”

He demonstrated what happens to a small plastic capsule when you put citric acid powder, baking soda, and water into it. Children’s faces lit up when they watched their mini rockets shoot up in the air.

“It never gets old, new faces every time,” said Drew.

Another volunteer, John Popps, was in his twenties when he remembers watching the moon landing.

“I had just come back from Germany, I was in the Air Force for four years,” said Popps, as he demonstrated the giant Tesla coil that emits more than one million volts of electricity to light up inside the Fleet Science Center. He said the landing helped inspire his science career.

“I was excited about just like everybody else. I have a background in physics and science, so I was thrilled about it! Isn’t it wonderful that the whole world was one? When that happened, the whole world watched millions of people all over the world. Makes you proud to be an American.”

Grandmother Natalia Bessonov, originally, from Ukraine, was visiting with her daughter-in-law and two young grandsons from northern California, Vincent, and Mason. She was watching Drew help her grandsons launch the small capsules into the air. From the other side of the world, she too recalls Apollo 11.

“I just remember watching it on tv, I was about six-and-a-half, seven, it was just exciting,” said Bessonov.

The new exhibit that opened is called Sun, Earth Universe along with the new attraction called The Pulseworks VR. They opened as part of the Fleet Science Center’s new space-themed gallery.

To read more information on these exhibits visit the museum's website.

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