Fifty years ago today, my favorite space mission left lunar orbit. It was a perfect alignment of summer vacation (therefore no interference going to school), the first serious scientific moon landing, and an early morning tv slot with Walter Cronkite. What more could a space buff want?
I noticed digitally remastered images from the mission on my news feed. The image above is copyright © (NASA / JSC / ASU / ANDY SAUNDERS).
Commander Dave Scott was a favorite astronaut. Years later I read of how he viewed himself as not just a pilot but also an explorer. His comment from the first step onto the lunar surface:
As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize there’s a fundamental truth to our nature. Man must explore. And this is exploration at its greatest.