We’re hearing from a couple who says, if it weren’t for NASA and the moon landing 50 years ago, they never would’ve landed a nearly 50-year-long relationship.
“We grew up with the space program and it was our dads’ job," Debbie Kaufmann said. "We never really thought about it, cherished it, or asked enough questions.”
Back in 1969, Debbie and Alan Kaufmann, along with the rest of the world, watched as astronauts landed on the moon for the very first time.
But, to them, this was just another day, as both of their fathers worked for NASA.
Alan’s father, James Kaufmann, was an engineer who played a role in the Apollo 11 mission.
Debbie’s dad, Warren Streeter, helped design experiments for the space shuttle.
“Our fathers would bring us out when we were kids and show us what was going on," Alan Kaufmann said. "So, it wasn’t just an idea. We saw it in reality.”
Both Debbie and Alan’s families moved to Huntsville in the 1960’s for their fathers’ jobs.
Little did they know, that’s how they would meet, and eventually fall in love.
“Two NASA families that came together," Alan said with a smile.
Alan and Debbie met the same year as the moon landing. After they believed the other had hung that moon, they got married and have now been together for 46 years.
The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission serves as a sort of personal anniversary for the Kaufmanns—reminding them of how their relationship began.
“It gives us a lot of pride," Debbie said.
“It’s at the root of where our family started," Alan added.
But the Kaufmanns told WAAY 31 that the moon landing anniversary is so much more than that.
“Huntsville should take great pride in this," Debbie said. "Seriously. We’ve played such a special part in this whole space program. I’m so happy that the city is embracing this.”
When it comes to their marriage—the Kaufmanns will always credit their dads' moves to Huntsville—a city they’ve fallen in love with almost as much as they fell in love with each other.
“We are just so blessed," Debbie said. "We love it here.”