Last month, City Savvy asked city employees to share their reflections on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
David C. “Hoss” Robertson, an airside operations coordinator, wildlife program manager, responded to our call for sources. Read how the moon landing helped to inspire Robertson’s lifelong love of aviation and space exploration.
Q: Do you have first-hand memories of the lunar landing? Where were you when Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon?
DR: I was 5 1/2 in a Holiday Inn outside of Edison, NJ. Dad was an executive for Shell Oil and we had just transferred to the (then) Shell Headquarters in NY. As the landing happened on a Sunday night (and Dad had to be in NYC early Monday morning), he got a spare motel room and slept thru the landing. My mom, grandmother and I stayed up and watched it.
Q: How has this achievement impacted your life or shaped your view of our nation?
DR: The Apollo program and my fascination with Mission Control, further inspired my love of aviation. I later became a pilot and I've worked for the Houston Airport System for almost 16 years at Bush Intercontinental Airport now.
Q: Do you have early NASA memorabilia that you cherish?
DR: Yes, over the years I've had the privilege of meeting many of the Apollo Astronauts, Flight Directors and Controllers. I have an Autographed NASA/JSC document from 1967 singed by most of the Apollo Flight Directors, many of the Controllers and Apollo-era CAPCOMs (Astronauts).
Q: Did you attend any of the anniversary events?
DR: I attended a joint United Airlines/HAS event in the IAH New Terminal C commemorating the Apollo 11 landing. I've also closely followed the recent renovations of the NASA/JSC Apollo Era Mission Control Room and toured the facility during the Apollo 11 anniversary week.
Q: Did the anniversary celebrations spark or renew your interest in space exploration?
DR: I've never lost my passion for the space program. However, it's been great seeing the renewed interest in not only Apollo, but also a possible return to the Moon and perhaps on to Mars!
Read more about how David Robertson’s aviation career aspirations took flight when he attended the opening of the Intercontinental Airport in 1969. He was featured in this 2014 edition of City Savvy and this recent Houston Chronicle article.
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