to connectVideoRemembering of the historic Apollo 11’s launch of its 50th anniversary
Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight to land humans on the moon.
In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, coming down from the sky, three orange parachutes with a burn-up of space capsule, the three Americans as well as the bookend to the most momentous event in human history.
Minutes later, Apollo 11 splashed down in the water, to carry out the purpose of a nation: how to perform a manned lunar landing and return.
The day was July 24, 1969, at 50 years ago as it is today. The Apollo 11 capsule, the first of two men ever to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin. Also with them was Michael Collins, the astronaut who piloted the command module and orbit the moon for two hours and 36 minutes, while Armstrong and Aldrin were on the left of the lunar footprints. All three were alive and healthy, and return to the Earth after they get out of it in the space of nine days.
But the story is not over yet. The astronauts were to be rescued from the ocean.
This is where the USS Hornet is. In other words, it was left for California on a mission that they had just learned about the restoration of the Apollo 11.
REMEMBER ALL OF AMERICA’S HISTORIC MISSION TO THE MOON
This meant that the removal of the men in the capsule and in such a small boat, it is lifted by a helicopter to bring them on board of the Hornet, President Nixon, and a host of other dignitaries were proud to wait for that.
“We were just very, very, very, very focused,” said Rolf Sabye, who served on the Hornet in the navigation division as a quartermaster second class petty officer (ceo).
Rolf Sabye, served on the Hornet in the navigation division as a quartermaster second class petty officer (ceo).
(Photo courtesy of Rolf Sabye)
“Well, we have had to work hard for a couple of weeks after leaving Hawaii. We have had 16 tests which is our most important job on the ship was to go up in addition to the capsule and recovery of the capsule after the astronauts were recovered by helicopter,” he recalled.
“It was a pretty significant event. However, when we realize that we have people all over the world were looking at them,” Saybe said. “I was always on the bridge, it was very, very close to the heart of the ship. It was a very, very special. I am very proud to have been a part of it.”
Tim Wilson said that he felt the same.
APOLLO 11: A FORMER OFFICER ON THE REPAIR SHIP, THE USS HORNET REMINDS US OF THE WATCH OF THE ASTRONAUTS ‘AMAZING’ TO RETURN TO PRESIDENT NIXON
He, too, was on board the USS Hornet as a lieutenant and public affairs officer.
“It was a really big deal, and after coming back from Vietnam, and it was almost as if it’s getting to be a rich dessert, or something like that,” Wilson remembered. “We have to do something really, really, really cool.”
That was in 1969, and the crew had been living on their boat, in the middle of a war, and Wilson was reminded of the crew of the ship, sort of in the dark about the whole thing.
Tim Wilson was on board the USS Hornet as a lieutenant and public affairs officer. “It was a really big deal, and after coming back from Vietnam, and it was almost as if it’s getting to be a rich dessert, or something like that,” Wilson said.
(Photo courtesy of Tim Wilson )
“We didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “We didn’t have a sense of what kind of emotions were on the continent, or with our families and stuff like that, because we did not have access to a television, rss feeds, or something, in anticipation of the launch of Apollo 11, the trip to the moon, or walking on the moon.”
And, 50 years later, Wilson still feels just as proud as he was back then.
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“I think the fact that it just feels very, very, very attached to what we do, and our place in history,” he said. “We are very happy to have been a part of it.”
Saybe said, the Hornet’s crew performed professionally and patriotically.
The Flight controllers in the Mission Control applauded as the ground for the success of the Apollo 11 moon mission on July 24, 1969.
“It wasn’t until the day of the operation, really, with all of these other dignitaries that appeared on the board of directors, the President, mr. Nixon, and we know it,” he said, remembering the feeling of having a bit of a shock.
“Yes it is. This is the real thing, and today was the day, and this one is really cool as well. I don’t have the sense of fear of the people, and that I was to be here. I would say that there is a tremendous amount of pride in that. In terms of the United States of america, and in terms of our role in this whole thing.”
The three astronauts are being rescued from the Pacific ocean to the world-famous, and an instant national hero – with a little help from the crew of the USS Hornet.