40 years later, moon landing still fascinates Utahns

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The historic moon landing still fascinates and inspires 40 years later. The milestone resonates with young and old alike.

"We could see the Saturn 5 just barely go over the horizon," said Mike Murray, programs manager at the Clark Planetarium.

**Apollo 11 Timeline**![](http://media.bonnint.net/slc/1291/129161/12916183.jpg)
• **May 25, 1961**- Pres. John F. Kennedy announced the goal of sending astronauts to the moon • **July 16, 1969**- Apollo 11 lifts off carrying astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin • **July 29, 1969**- Armstrong and Aldrin land the lunar module *Eagle* on the moon. Armstrong sets the first human foot on the moon declaring, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." • **July 24, 1969**- The crew returns home - *NASA*
Murray remembers the first moon landing well. He was 10 years old, a kid living in Tampa, occasionally going to watch blastoffs from nearby Cape Kennedy. "The idea that this was the first time we were going to touch another world in human history was amazing," Murray said.

Forty years later, Murray produces educational shows at the Clark Planetarium, where the most popular exhibits are the lunar and Martian landscapes. Visitors leap and scramble, even moonwalk. Forty years later, the event still captivates.

Sandy resident Stacie Ivory says the event teaches, "There's no end to the limits of what we can do, that anything is possible for humankind."

"It's still fascinating, wonderful. It's sort of surprising we haven't done anything as spectacular since," said Ogden resident David Gossner.

**The Apollo Missions**![](http://media.bonnint.net/slc/1291/129162/12916228.jpg)
Six of the missions -- Apollos 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 -- went on to land on the moon, studying soil mechanics, meteoroids, seismic, heat flow, lunar ranging, magnetic fields and solar wind. Apollos 7 and 9 tested spacecraft in Earth orbit; Apollo 10 orbited the moon as the dress rehearsal for the first landing. An oxygen tank explosion forced Apollo 13 to scrub its landing, but the "can-do" problem solving of the crew and mission control turned the mission into a "successful failure." -*NASA*
The era of manned missions to the moon was surprisingly short. In all, six NASA missions landed on the moon and 12 astronauts made moonwalks. The final mission in 1972 was three years after the first, and humans have not been back since -- though many young and old still dream about it. The Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake will host a show about Apollo 11 at 7 p.m. Monday. Commemorative activities are also being held at the Ott Planetarium in Ogden and the Union Pacific building in the Gateway in Salt Lake at 8 p.m.

E-mail: jdaley@ksl.com

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