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The effect the moon landing had on Australia’s first professional astronaut

Watching man land on the moon for the first time had a profound effect on Australia’s first professional astronaut.

This Sunday marks 50 years since the world stopped to watch Neil Armstrong say those famous words.

Watching those images had a huge effect on Andy Thomas, who went on to become Australia’s first professional astronaut.

He’s spent more than six months in space and was the first Aussie to enter NASA’s astronaut program.

Andy tells Ben Fordham he was 18-years-old when he watched the moon landing from his parents’ Adelaide home.

He says he was “stunned and enthralled” by the footage.

“The whole world stopped to watch those grainy black and white images and it was just an amazing event. It was the defining event of the 21st century.

“When I watched the moon landing I thought ‘what a great adventure that is. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be involved and to do something like that?’ 

“But it wasn’t until much later in life that I realised I could actually put together a competitive application and bring some of those dreams to reality.”

He also tells Ben the thrilling story of his first space mission and gives his prediction of when we’ll go to Mars.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview