L to R: Apollo 9's three-man crew - Jim McDivitt, Dave Scott and Rusty Schweickart -- with their Apollo 9 Command Module "Gumdrop" at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
All three crew members – Commander James McDivitt, Command Module Pilot David Scott, and Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart, as well as famous Apollo-era Flight Directors Gerry Griffin and Gene Kranz – celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 9 in front of more than 500 thrilled guests at the San Diego Air & Space Museum on March 13, exactly fifty years to the day of their splashdown after a history-making 10-day flight in 1969.
Apollo 9 was just the third manned spaceflight in the Apollo program. The three-astronaut crew paved the way for later lunar exploration with a series of milestones, including the first Extravehicular Activity of the Apollo program, NASA’s first two-man EVA, the first manned test flight of the Lunar Module, the first test of the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) and the first docking of two manned American spacecraft.
The celebration offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all three Apollo 9 crew members with their actual Command Module “Gumdrop.”
The crew told never-before-told stories about their mission with the Museum’s guests during a panel discussion, and were later joined on stage by Griffin and Kranz, who shared inside knowledge about the importance of the critical steps taken toward later lunar exploration during the Apollo 9 mission.
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