[meteorite-list] Where Were You When It Happened 35 Years Ago.?

From: almitt <almitt_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri Jul 23 11:15:57 2004
Message-ID: <41012B39.510D6571_at_kconline.com>

Hello Paul and all, (Paul first posted this thread)

I grew up during the space race and remember not only the Apollo Missions but also
the Mercury and especially the Gemini Missions in space (though with not a whole
lot of detail). I remember in sixth grade reading about the Apollo program and the
program of going to the moon. I have been an astronomer before the Apollo program
and anything space has always fascinated me. I can remember the Apollo 8 mission
which was the first mission to orbit the Moon and seeing the details on TV at
Christmas time over at my uncle's house.

Later during the Apollo 11 mission, I watched the launch and grab every detail of
what was going on during the mission. I can remember how excited I was when they
successfully landed on the moon (to find out years late they came very close to
running out of fuel and that Neil Armstrong had taken control of the lander
manually after computer overload, getting it down with in seconds of disaster). We
watched on my folks color TV (though the broadcast was in B&W) as Neil stepped out
onto the moon, and cited his historical words. The pictures were very rough but
people new this was such an historical event. I had models of the Lunar Module and
the Command Module sitting on the coffee table. Similar to Steve Arnold's tribute,
I recorded the whole thing on audio cassette as there were no VCR's at the time.
All aspects from the lunar walks to splash down were watched during the mission. I
remember them saying that the Moon will never be looked at quite the same as it had
been, now that man had walked on it's surface. I remember them playing the music
(that is played in the 2001 theme song) an international tribute to when something
out of the ordinary happens.

Later my Dad took me about 50 miles to a near by city to view the first lunar rocks
brought back from the moon. I still have pictures of that historical day from South
Bend, Indiana..

A couple of years later I went to the last Apollo Moon Launch in Florida, Apollo 17
to watch the last mission. I was in High School and had to take time off from
classes in order to do so and by myself. I found an optimum place to camp and watch
just a few miles from the launch site near Cape Canaveral. I took along with me a 6
inch telescope which I used to see the Apollo 17 vehicle and also watch as it rose
into the night time sky, the first night launch of an Apollo Moon Landing Vehicle.
After that mission and years later I visited an excellent museum in Hutchison
Kansas which has may of the artifacts from the Apollo 17 mission on hand, which
include moon rocks, articles from the mission and the Surveyor scoop sent years
before the Apollo landing .

The Apollo era was as very special one and a great achievement by mankind. Many
countries participated in the fabrication of parts that were used in the rockets
sent to the moon. Although an American adventure it was an international
achievement and cooperation that put man on the moon.

The only thing that has topped this (to my perspective) is the recent ability to
buy lunar meteorites and hold them in my collection. Little did I know that 28
years later I would be able to hold my very own lunar specimen in my hands and
again as another member said look at the moon different. I have often held my lunar
pieces while viewing the moon outside, shared the specimens with others and been
very glad to have lived in this era that I live in.

--AL Mitterling
Received on Fri 23 Jul 2004 11:14:01 AM PDT

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