DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 7 space mission, which then paved the way for America’s moon landing less than a year later. That historic moment is now shaping future space exploration, and is the basis for an out of this world journey at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

Decades ago, the world watched in amazement. Now, it is a moment of inspiration. Moon Day at the Frontiers of Flight Museum uses the first steps on the moon to help young people think about their next steps in life. “We’re pretty sure we’ve had over 1,500 people come in today,” said museum CEO and president Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones.

“These students,” Sutterfield-Jones continued, “they’re going to be one of those kids. They’re going to be one of those people who are going to go to the moon or to Mars next.”

Interactive displays give kids a chance to learn about space, see rock samples from the moon, use robotic LEGO exhibits and even tour the actual Apollo 7 spacecraft. Experts explain the importance of the stars and space travel.

Wally Funk spent much of her life dedicated to aviation. With over 19,000 flying hours, the pilot and Mercury 13 candidate now spends much of her time lecturing around the country — for one important reason. “That’s exactly it,” she stated. “Inspire!”

It has been 49 years since Neil Armstrong inspired the world and planted his foot on the lunar surface, and there have been 10 years of Moon Day in DFW. The National Space Society of North Texas believes that this is only the beginning. “Things that have been science fiction for decades, if not over a century, are about to become science fact,” said Ken Ruffin, vice president of the National Space Society of North Texas.

“In the next 10 years,” Ruffin added, “space technology is going to be mind-blowing.”

Anne Elise Parks