IN THE unlikely setting of a Warrnambool orthodontist's waiting room, model spacecraft, rare footage of astronauts and extraterrestrial images line the walls.
Owner Paul Kittel has for nearly a decade collected the items in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing this weekend. He even struck up a friendship with the family of the sole artist who sketched the Apollo 11 astronauts before they departed.
Memories of teachers suspending his school work to watch something "important" have led Mr Kittel to want to share the momentousness of the first human steps on the moon with his younger patients.
He remembers as a nine-year-old watching grainy live footage from Memorial Oval Primary School in the South Australian city of Whyalla as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, but he admits he didn't grasp the moment until later life.
"You knew it was important, but you didn't realise until you were a little older that it was one of those events you weren't going to see again," he said.
"I never forgot it. As I watched it more I realised I got to watch history that few people get to watch."
Years later an interest in aviation drew him back to learning about the moon landing and he contacted the family of artist Paul Calle to obtain prints of Mr Calle's 1969 postage stamp images that commemorated the event.
Mr Calle was the only artist permitted to sketch the astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins before Apollo 11 journey and Mr Kittel's daughter soon became a pen pal of Mr Calle's grandaughter.
Mr Kittel said it was the optimism that motivated humans to go to another planet that interested him today.
"I can't imagine humans will want to do it these days. It could well be a one-way mission to somewhere like Mars," he said.
"Now is an opportunity to show people who may remember and some who have never heard of it."
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