From the Apollo missions to space tourism: US marks new chapter in space travel

On July 20, In 1969, man’s first steps on the moon made us wonder what our next step would be in space

"I think we all thought we would have based on the moon and go on to explore Mars," says John Bisney of Seminole. 

He showed FOX 13 a photograph from 1969 at Cape Canaveral. He’s shown with first lady Pat Nixon at the launch of an Apollo mission. 

Bisney would go on to become a network reporter, covering the space program and the co-author of several books on America’s space history.

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He says decades ago he would not have predicted Monday’s Blue Origin launch or the recent Virgin Galactic mission.

"The concept that ‘Joe Sixpack’ might be able to someday get in a rocket and go into space seemed to be pretty extreme because you didn’t see the market for it," he said. 

A journey to distant worlds may have been his vision as a teenager, but he believes space tourism offers a different journey.

"It’s a way to get off the planet and see it with different eyes," offered Bisney. "This isn’t necessarily about going to the moon or Mars. It’s about better appreciating our planet by seeing it from high above." 

It may not be what he imagined 52 years ago, but he says if given the chance now, he would be a space tourist. 

"No question, in a minute!" he added.

Bisney’s latest book, called "Picturing the Space Shuttle," became available Monday on Amazon, exactly 52 years after the first moonwalk.