50-Year Apollo Reunion Set For EAA AirVenture
It was 50 years ago, in 1967, that NASA scheduled the first Apollo mission, with the aim to land on the Moon, and EAA will celebrate that era of exploration this summer at AirVenture, with a reunion of Apollo astronauts and a slate of special events. The reunion is expected to be the largest gathering of Apollo astronauts at Oshkosh since 1994, when the “Salute to Apollo” program brought together 15 of them. Many of the activities will be centered on AirVenture’s “Apollo Day,” on Friday, July 28, which will be highlighted by a major evening program at the Theater in the Woods. Among the astronauts who will attend are Frank Borman (Apollo 8), Walt Cunningham (Apollo 7), Fred Haise (Apollo 13), Jim Lovell (Apollo 8 and Apollo 13), and Al Worden (Apollo 15).
“A number of Apollo astronauts have already committed to the event, as have other people closely involved with America’s space program during that era,” said EAA’s Rick Larsen. “This will be a rare, unforgettable gathering of the people who met the challenge of flying to the moon and safely returning, representing hundreds of thousands of individuals who contributed to its success. You may never get another opportunity to see these people in person, up close, as you will at Oshkosh this summer.” Additional astronauts are expected to confirm their attendance in the coming weeks. Further details on events and schedules will be announced as they are finalized. The Apollo 1 mission, in 1967, was destroyed in a launch-pad fire, in which three astronauts died. Apollo 11 was the first mission to reach the Moon, in 1969, and in 1972, Apollo 17 visited the Moon for the last time.