The youth category of the model rocket contest on July 20 is open to kids age 15 and younger. (Jay Gould)

Forty-five years ago this month, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. To celebrate this amazing feat, the NASA Goddard Visitor Center in Greenbelt invites kids to come launch their own rockets.

Yes, we’re talking about model rockets. They’re not headed to the moon, but it’s still very cool to watch them take off.

If you want to participate, you must bring your own model, engine, wadding, igniters and prepping tools. Goddard will provide launch equipment.

There is a contest to see which rocket lands closest to the center of a 150-foot “moon” that is marked on the ground. You can enter by yourself, or you can form a team. After all, Armstong didn’t go it alone. Without crewmates Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, there would have been no “giant leap for mankind.”

Christina Barron

What: NASA Goddard Visitor Center Model Rocket Contest

Where: NASA Goddard Visitor Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt.

When: Sunday, July 20, noon to 4 p.m.

How old: Youth category is for age 15 and younger.

How much: Free; no advance registration required.

More information: A parent can call 301-286-8981 or go to