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Bluegrass Aviation Museum Celebrating Historic Apollo 11 Moonshot This Week

Dan Collins

Fifty years ago today, the crew of the Apollo 11 blasted off for the moon, and thanks to in part to one Kentucky native—they made it there and back safely. WUKY’s Dan Collins reports.

John Leland Atwood was a native of Boone County, and was the CEO for North American Rockwell. That’s the firm that landed contracts to help work on the Saturn five rocket, and more importantly, the command service module that carried the three-man crew to the moon and back.

Ed Murphy, a volunteer and educator at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky explained that the module that Atwood’s team created was vital to the success of the mission.

In 1984, for his contributions, Atwood was inducted into both the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the International Air and Space Hall of Fame. A model of the rocket and command module that he helped to build is on display at the aviation museum of kentucky, along with other exhibits related to the lunar landing.

Visitors to the museum this Saturday, which marks the anniversary of the actual landing, will be offered a free moon pie; a special treat in celebration of the historic event.

For nearly seven years, Dan's voice could be heard on radio frequencies spanning the usable range--but his only listeners were pilots. As a member of the U.S. Air Force, Dan molded his rich, velvety tone coordinating strikes via the airwaves of Iraq and Afghanistan.