Apollo astronauts honored

March 25, 2009 2:52:58 PM PDT
Some of the most well-known names in space exploration gathered Tuesday night downtown to raise money for children with cancer.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson and Eyewitness News anchors Dave Ward and Melanie Lawson attended the event on behalf of Texas Children's Cancer Center to honor the men who went to the moon and back.

Forty years ago began the age of the Apollo space program. When NASA was beginning exploration of space, it fueled the American spirit and its imagination. There were no bigger heroes than astronauts.

Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan was the last man to walk on the moon.

"My goal in life is to be able to pass it down onto the next young man or woman. And I may just make it," said Cernan.

Captain Alan Bean logged two moon walks, but he questions now whether man will return there in the foreseeable future.

"We have the technology but we don't have the money. And nobody in my opinion is going to give us the money. We'd love to do it," said Bean.

Regardless of what the future of space exploration holds, history will record what these astronauts accomplished on the moon. The event Tuesday night showed that history has not been forgotten.

Texas Children's Cancer Center hosted the gala to salute NASA, plus contributions to medical research. Many advances in cancer treatment are attributed to research in space.

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