Is this you? In search of a little girl with modest moon ambitions

By Tara Kimura,


"Would you like to go to the moon?" CBC reporter Walt Lacosta asks a young girl in this charming 1969 interview.

"Yes," she responds without hesitation.

When questioned if she thinks she'll ever make it there, the young girl smiles and responds with a simple "no."

"Why not?" Lacosta asks.

"Because I'm not a boy," she says shyly but definitively.

It was nearly 40 years ago, when American astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins stepped off Apollo 11 and made their historic small step for man, giant leap for mankind. Scores of men and women, including Canada's Roberta Bondar and Julie Payette, have since been launched daringly into the heavens.

With the anniversary upon us, we're wondering whatever happened to the young girl interviewed in this archived video? How did her perceptions about what the future held for boys and girls change and evolve? Where is she now?

We're putting a call out to our readers asking if any of you recognize the girl in this video? If so, help us find her by sending us a tip in the comments section below so that we can interview her again. (*Note – we won't publish information that identifies her without first seeking her permission).

Edited to add - The 1969 report was filmed in Ontario. Also, some readers have suggested this might be Julie Payette. As far as we know, this is not Payette - we are sincerely looking to find the young girl interviewed in this clip.

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That girl's awareness of the limitations she faced is a sad comment on her times. Sadder yet is that she had evidently never been told that a woman had already flown in space, six years earlier! Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova had orbited Earth for three days in June 1963. Hopefully the woman who will be the first female on the moon is walking among us now.

Posted July 13, 2009 12:53 PM



Whether or not she had heard of Valentina Tereshkova, this child was very aware of the very real obstacles to achieving such goals as a girl. Never mind the fact that the female cosmonaut program was actually disbanded in 1969, the same year this was filmed. Such a faint glimmer of hope for a young girl to hold on to, in such an era. Not until Roberta Bondar went into space (during my own youth) did I really consider such things a possibility.

I am amazed by how hollow the reporter's words sound to my ears when he says, "All of which proves that kids will be kids, I guess." The child was quite astute, yet the interviewer invalidates her in one fell swoop.

Posted July 13, 2009 03:28 PM



So...only boys can go to the moon. How could she know this? Only 1 visit was done..and that just the day before. Perhaps there was some category of actions that only boys could do, and moon-visiting automatically got put into that category? What did this girl categorize moon-visiting as? Why did it go into that category immediately? And what else was in that category?

Posted July 13, 2009 04:02 PM



That little girl looks very much like a tiny Julie Payette!?!?! I think this is a trick question!

Posted July 13, 2009 10:16 PM

Madeline Banfield


Looks like a young Julie Payette to me and I believe she is still waiting for a shuttle ride to the space station. If it is Julie, she is still as sweet as this little girl looks to be and I am very proud of her.

Posted July 13, 2009 11:32 PM

Joe Zwickl


I agree with Vic and Madeline. This is Julie Payette! And does she deserve to go to the moon? Absolutely! We should all be proud of her eventhough she will most likely not make it to the moon. What a great ambassador for Canada! Oh, and CBC can find her at the Kennedy Space Centre.

Posted July 14, 2009 09:37 AM


@Rick : You need to consider the times. The girl saw how her mother/grandmother/aunts/sisters/friends were treated, as woman, and made a very astute observation about the nature of society at that time. Frankly, she was right. From all my reading about the space program at that time, I don't recall a single woman even being an option for the Apollo program - it was a boys club, and with a few exceptions, still is.

Posted July 14, 2009 10:00 AM



I doubt that's Payette - she would have been 5 1/2 at the time of the moon launch (this girl looks a bit older), and was living in Montreal, not Ontario. I believe French is her first language, though she's bilingual now - this sounds like a native English speaker.

As for Rick's comment, the Apollo program was 2 1/2 years old at the time of this interview, and only men had participated - this was Apollo 11, after all. It was men only aboard the Apollo 1, 7, 8, 9 and 10 manned missions, so the girl's right about her era to that point.

And after - only 12 people have walked on the moon, all men.

Posted July 14, 2009 10:28 AM



No one has walked on the moon. It was all fake. Don't believe that - then why hasn't anyone, with all the advancements in technology over the past 45+ years gone back?

Posted July 14, 2009 11:37 AM



Where was this shot?
These details might be rather useful in determining who the girl is. Despite our 36 million population, having a starting point would make a search easier....

@Wade, there is a reasonable probability you're right. Rumour has it Stanley Kubric was tapped by the CIA to produce a film for the public. Some photos clearly show a man wearing a plaid shirt reflected in the visor of one of the astronauts. Certainly the 'waiving' flag on the windless moon gives one pause...

Posted July 14, 2009 03:41 PM

Laura Halliday

Not me, though she is about my age. As a 7 year old space nut I knew who Valentina Tereshkova was, even though I didn't understand the underlying politics and didn't learn of the "Let's put a stop to this - NOW!" memo until much later.

Something that is bugging me, though, and I'm hearing it a lot lately: please refrain from referring to Apollo 11 as THE Moon Landing. It wasn't; it was the first of six.

Posted July 14, 2009 06:41 PM

Jacques Daviault


It is not Julie Payette.

In case you haven't noticed, Payette's mother tongue is French - and indeed she still carries a slight French accent when she speaks in English. So any thoughts that this little girl is Julie Payette is simply wishful thinking. Go Julie!!!

Posted July 14, 2009 07:00 PM



WriterWriter, let me explain the "waving flag". Since there is no wind in space the flag would simply droop without a crossbeam over the top to hold it out. When the astronauts pounded the flag into the ground, this crossbeam kept bouncing, giving the illusion of a waving flag.

Posted July 15, 2009 09:45 AM



Today you could interview a little Ontario boy and his answer would be; "No, because I don't speak french!"

Posted July 15, 2009 11:23 AM


The little girl is wearing something that looks like a prayer cap - perhaps she is to be found among the Mennonite community?

Posted July 15, 2009 06:42 PM



This is not Pyatt.

I saw this interview on the show.."It Seems like yesterday" a few years ago. This was of course at a time where woman stayed home to watch the kiddies and be a housewife, and wait on her husband hand and foot..[looking back doesn't seem like such a bad idea!]

Nice things have changed. I'm sure they'll find her somewhere.

Posted July 15, 2009 06:59 PM

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