America's Team - We're # 1

Neil Armstrong, with arms raised, celebrates in front of the flag

Painting Completed 1986
28 x 36 inches, Acrylic on Masonite

One day in mid-1992, the phone rang in my studio. On the line was a representative from Space Center Houston, a futuristic visitors center under construction near the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where I had spent my eighteen years as an astronaut. They wanted me to create a mural for them based on the theme of my painting 'America's Team...We're Number 1.

That painting was one of my favorites, since it showed how Neil Armstrong must have felt and how all of us here on Earth felt when he first set foot on the Moon.

I went to Space Center Houston and looked at the proposed wall, which was thirty-nine feet wide and seventeen feet high - a long, wide shape, not the shape of the painting they selected. No problem. I would create a different painting with a similar theme, move the flag, and change the proportions.

Editor's Note: Return to the room to see the new design, called "America's Team...Just the Beginning".