Wallpaper Wednesday

14 12 2011
Apollo 11 Launch Pad

Apollo 11 on the launch pad (LC-39A)

Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39 includes two pads, A & B. Although today they’re associated most frequently with the Space Shuttle program, they were designed originally for the massive Saturn V rockets used during the Apollo program. On November 9, 1967, Apollo 4 became the first rocket to launch from LC-39A. A total of twelve Saturn V rockets were sent up from that pad. In contrast, LC-39B saw only one Saturn V, the one used to launch Apollo 10 on ┬áMay 18, 1969. The Apollo 10 mission was a test drive of sorts, the last test mission before NASA made the final leap to the moon with Apollo 11.

Today’s wallpaper marks the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. As with most big news events, everyone has a story to tell about the launch and lunar landing. My story is quite short, as I was only two years old at the time. I remember my father reaching out from where he was sitting in front of the television, lifting me onto his lap, and saying, “Watch this, Susie, this is important.” There are many other things he did and said that affected the way I live(d) my life, but I suspect that one moment determined more than either of us could have guessed at the time (especially me—what does a toddler know?).