U.S. Space Walk of Fame

16 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


As two of the many workers on America’s Apollo moon landing program, Ron Spangler and Bill Lites were looking forward to attending the ground breaking ceremony for the Apollo monument at the U.S. Space Walk of Fame.  When completed, the U.S. Space Walk of Fame will honor the men and women who have been part of the U.S. Manned Space programs, from the first Mercury launch to the last Space Shuttle launch.


The ceremony took place in Titusville, Florida on July 16,1999 exactly 30 years to the second of the launch of the mighty Apollo/Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center.  This was the rocket that carried the Apollo 11 spacecraft, and the first men from Earth, to a landing on the moon.  The Apollo monument was the third in a series of four planned monuments making up the U.S. Space Walk of Fame.  Astronauts Wally Schirra and Gene Cernan were among the honored guests, and more than 300 attendees were on hand to commemorate this special event.  As part of the ceremony, a bronze bust of President John F. Kennedy, who originally challenged our nation to what became the Apollo Lunar Landing program, was unveiled.


The first of America’s Manned Space vehicles was the one-man Mercury capsule that carried a succession of American astronauts on missions into Earth orbit to prove man could live and work in space.

4a    4b


Next in the progression of space vehicles was the two-man Gemini capsule that carried additional American astronauts into Earth orbit where they practiced space vehicle maneuvering. This involved rendezvous and docking procedures with various target vehicles.  In addition, space walks were performed to test space suit design and function.



The Apollo project used the mighty Saturn V launch vehicle to carry American astronauts in the three-man Apollo space capsule and the two-man Lunar Landing vehicle to the moon, where Neil Armstrong and Buss Aldrin were the first humans from earth to set foot on the moon.



The Space Shuttle was America’s 7-man reusable space plane that was used to assemble and serviced the International Space Station, and perform many other important manned space missions.  This was truly an International venture.




The Hubble Space Telescope along with countless military and scientific satellites were placed in Earth orbit using the Space Shuttle Orbiter.


So it was that Bill and Tom were there with the many others, that day, who came to the U.S. Space Walk of Fame ceremony to represent the nearly 300,000 dedicated men and women employed by NASA and a variety of contractors from all over America, who toiled to make the United States Manned Space Program a reality for the world to see and appreciate.  What a great feeling of satisfaction and pride each of those workers deserves to have, as a memory, for the rest of their lives.

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