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Astronaut calls the 6-year-old boy trying to save NASA

Astronaut calls the 6-year-old boy trying to save NASA

By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Dec 13, 2013

A six-year-old boy got the surprise of his young life this week -- a call from the last astronaut to have walked on the moon.

Connor Johnson hopes to be an astronaut himself one day, but, as The Atlantic reports, "to realize that dream . . . he needs NASA to have a fully functioning space program when he's an adult." To that end, the boy started a White House petition to give the agency more funding. And he's putting his own money where his mouth is, donating the contents of his piggy bank to NASA.
 
"A lot of people want NASA to come back," the child says. "Even grown-ups." 
 
As The Atlantic points out, "NASA, of course, has not gone away, per se; it is in danger, however, of losing some of the funding for its space exploration missions—the funding that would send humans back to the moon, and maybe to Mars."
 
On Wednesday, astronaut Gene Cernan gave the boy a call, reportedly telling him he was calling on "the exact day that I stopped on the moon many, many years ago." That moon walk happened 41 years ago.
 
Johnson's reply? "Whoa."
 
The child then asked Cernan what was the last thing he saw as he left the moon. "Looking back home at the beautiful Earth that you and I live on," Cernan replied.
 
The astronaut also offered some inspirational advice: "You've got to dream about things that a lot of other people think you can't do," he said. 
Phyllis Stark

Phyllis Stark

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Phyllis Stark is the Digital Executive Producer - National Content for Journal Broadcast Group.