“Houston, this is Apollo 10. You can tell the world we have arrived.” - Apollo 10 Commander, Thomas P. Stafford
The fourth manned mission of the Apollo program, today marks the 45th anniversary of Apollo 10’s launch from the Kennedy Space Center on May 18th, 1969.
Launched two months prior to the liftoff of Apollo 11, Apollo 10’s function was one of great weight, and would prove decisive in safely putting astronauts on the lunar surface. As an F type mission, this particular Apollo flight was meant as a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 mission, testing each and every procedure for the Moon landing (including undocking the lunar module from the command module) without actually landing on the Moon itself. This included running a simulated decent to just 15km above the lunar surface.
As the first spacecraft to carry a color television camera, Apollo 10 was also the first to broadcast live color TV transmissions of the lunar surface and of the Earth from afar. As Module Pilot Eugene Cernan noted two days prior to launch, “We hope to be able to share with you some of the experiences and things that go behind the ‘gee whiz’ and ‘golly, isn’t that beautiful’.”
To read more about astronauts Tom Stafford, Eugene Cernan, and John Young, and the Apollo 10 mission: http://goo.gl/wQSOJH
Take a look at Space Advocates’ video, the Spirit of Apollo, and consider what raising the NASA budget from less than half a penny up to one full penny on each federal dollar spent can and will do for our economy, for our society and for our future: http://goo.gl/kUDM7