44 years on, the Apollo 14 landing still astonishes

On 5 February, 1971, the crew of the Apollo 14 lunar module landed on the Moon. It was the third mission to land on the Moon.  The crew members were Captain Alan Shepard, above, and Edgar Mitchell, the lunar module pilot, who both walked on the lunar surface. 

Stuart Roosa kept the command module in orbit while his colleagues hit golf balls (Shepard bought a club) and collected rocks. Roosa brought several hundred seeds with him in the module which were germinated on Earth after the mission returned. These so-called Moon Trees have shown no difference to trees grown from seeds that stayed on Earth.

In 1961, Alan Shepard was the first American to travel in space. Ten years later, when he landed on the Moon, he was 47 – the oldest astronaut in the Apollo program. When asked what was going through his mind when he flew into space for the first time, Shepard reportedly said: “The fact that every part of this ship was built by the lowest bidder.” 

Cosmos Magazine

Katherine Kizilos

Katherine Kizilos is a staff writer at Cosmos.

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