Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Don't Look Down

On display in the Rocket Garden at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center is the service arm used by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to get aboard the Apollo 11 command module on July 16, 1969. Just days later, Armstrong and Aldrin were walking on the Moon.

This service arm stood more than 30 stories above the ground when it was attached to the massive Saturn 5 rocket. The black no-slip walking surface was not there in 1969, and if the astronauts looked down when they crossed, they could have seen through the metal grate to the ground. The gantry led to the White Room where crew men checked the astronauts' suits and helped them into the module. After making sure everything was hooked up correctly, the crew men shut the door and descended the launch tower, leaving the three astronauts to their historic journey.

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