By Ty Russell

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Saturday marks the 50-year mark when the crew from the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon.

“It was unreal. That’s the only thing I can say,” Mike Medrano said. “I saw the foot coming down and it was incredible.”

Medrano was a 15-year-old living in Miami at the time. He was watching at home with friends and family.

Just days before, he was just outside Kennedy Space Center, with a video camera filming the launch.

“I’m a fanatic. Seriously, a big fan. Not an expert. But I know a lot about the space program. Particularly the old space program,” Medrano said.

He dusted off the film and showed it to CBS 4 News from his condo that now has a view of the launchpads at Kennedy Space Center.

“I can watch the launches. I don’t have to go anywhere. I can get my martini and go out there and watch,” Medrano said.

President Trump directed NASA to return to the moon by 2024.

“Send the first female and a male back to the moon by 2024. So, we are working on be Artemis program right now and the SLS rocket will be launching in 2020 next year,” NASA and Kennedy Legislative Affairs Officer Trey Carlson said.

In a U.S. Senate committee meeting at Kennedy Space Center Friday, NASA leaders told Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott they’re leaning on more than just big business to help get them back to the moon.

“Just to pull in, not just to the talent at NASA or the contractors but small businesses that can really address the problems and take money and development money that we could possibly use to translate to something else,” Carlson said.

Vice President Pence will speak at Kennedy Space Center Saturday about Apollo 11. He’s expected to mention the future of space travel to the moon and Mars.

Ty Russell

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