Apollo 8 Astronaut Frank Borman, during the first mission to fly around the moon, radioed back in December of 1968, looking back at the Earth from 250,000 miles away:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy JULY 16, 1969, being the first mission to walk on the moon.
In Proclamation 3919, President Richard Nixon stated:
“Apollo 11 is on its way to the moon. It carries three brave astronauts; it also carries the hopes and prayers of hundreds of millions of people…That moment when man first sets foot on a body other than earth will stand through the centuries as one supreme in human experience…I call upon all of our people…to join in prayer for the successful conclusion of Apollo 11’s mission.”
On July 20, 1969, Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, landed their lunar module, the Eagle, and spent a total of 21 hours and 37 minutes on the moon’s surface before redocking with the command ship Columbia. Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, stating:
“One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Buzz Aldrin, in an interview with Guideposts Magazine, July 20, 1989, “A Meal on the Moon: A little-known fact about the Apollo Moon Landing,” revealed that during the planned rest time in the Eagle, he had a private communion service:
“I silently read the Bible passage…’I am the Vine, you are the branches’…as I partook of the wafer and the wine, and offered a private prayer…I could think of no better way to acknowledge the enormity of the Apollo 11 experience than by giving thanks to God.”
President Richard Nixon spoke to the astronauts on the moon, July 20, 1969:
“This certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made from the White House…The heavens have become a part of man’s world…For one priceless moment in the whole history of man all the people on this earth are truly one…one in our prayers that you will return safely to earth.”
President Nixon greeted the astronauts on the USS Hornet, July 24, 1969:
“The millions who are seeing us on television now…feel as I do, that…our prayers have been answered…I think it would be very appropriate if Chaplain Piirto, the Chaplain of this ship, were to offer a prayer of thanksgiving.”
Addressing a joint session of Congress, September 16, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong stated:
“To those of you who have advocated looking high we owe our sincere gratitude, for you have granted us the opportunity to see some of the grandest views of the Creator.”
During Apollo 14’s mission, February 6, 1971, astronauts Edgar Mitchell and Alan Shepard left some tiny microfilmed copies of the King James Bible on the moon’s Fra Mauro highlands aboard the lunar module Antares.
On April 21, 1972, Astronauts Charles Duke and John Young explored the moon’s surface during Apollo 16’s mission to the moon’s rugged Descartes region. Astronaut Charles Duke spoke of this experience at a Prayer Rally during the State’s Republican Convention in San Antonio’s Lila Cockrell Theatre, June 22, 1996:
“I used to say I could live ten thousand years and never have an experience as thrilling as walking on the moon. But the excitement and satisfaction of that walk doesn’t begin to compare with my walk with Jesus, a walk that lasts forever.”
On October 28, 1998, at age 77, Astronaut John Glenn was aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest person to go into space. This was 36 years after he had become the first American to orbit the earth in 1962.
Observing the heavens and the earth from his window, John Glenn stated:
“To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible. It just strengthens my faith.”
In 2010, NASA was working on the Constellation program, building new rockets and spaceships capable of returning astronauts to the moon, till President Obama canceled it.
On June 30, 2010, Administrator Charles Bolden outlined the new priorities for NASA in an interview with the Middle East News agency, Al Jazeera, in Cairo:
“When I became the NASA administrator…President Obama charged me…perhaps foremost…to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good.”
Though manned space exploration may be on hold, we cannot forget the tremendous scientific achievement, courage and faith of those who dared to go into the unknown.
William J. Federer is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to researching America’s noble heritage.
To learn more about the author please visit William Federer