Monica Garske

San Diego Air & Space Museum Rings in 45th Anniversary of Apollo 16

NASA’s Apollo 16, which included astronaut Charlie Duke, is considered by many to be one of the high points of space exploration

The San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park honored the anniversary of Apollo 16 Wednesday with special guests: NASA legends who paved the way for space exploration.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of what’s considered by experts to be one of the most ambitious scientific space expeditions. The museum hosted an evening reception and dinner to celebrate the milestone where attendees were able to meet Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot Charlie Duke -- the 10th man ever to walk on the moon.

Also in attendance: Apollo 15’s Al Worden; Apollo 13 and Space Shuttle Enterprise’s Fred Haise; Apollo 7’s Walt Cunningham.

The museum says the event aimed to highlight the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs and the so-called “Space Cowboys” at its core. The trailblazers will share their stories and visions for the future of the exploration of the Final Frontier.

From 1968 to 1972, a total of 24 Americans journeyed to the moon. The Air & Space Museum says lunar exploration hit new heights in those last two years “with extended stays on the moon, ambitious exploration on the surface and from orbit, and long journeys in electric powered rovers.”

According to NASA, Apollo 16 had three primary goals. One was to inspect and sample materials at the landing site in the Descartes region of the moon – a highlands area in the moon’s southeast quadrant known for its hilly, grooved, furrowed terrain.

The other objectives of the space mission were to emplace and activate surface experiments and to conduct in-flight experiments and photographic tasks from lunar orbit.

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