The Oklahoma State Senate has honored the crew of Apollo X with a resolution commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the first mission ever to achieve lunar orbit.
The crew included astronauts, Eugene A. Cernan and John W. Young, along with Weatherford, Oklahoma native, Thomas P. Stafford. Sen. Clark Jolley authored the resolution which was approved unanimously on Wednesday.
"Americans should not forget the incredible courage, skill and intellect it took to get us to the moon and how important this was to our country," said Jolley, R-Edmond. "At that time it was the 'space-race' as we fought to take the lead after the U.S.S.R. became the first nation to launch a satellite into outer space. Because of Apollo X and the missions that followed, we won the space race and remain the only nation to send men to the moon."
Sen. Jay Paul Gumm said as a child, he was fascinated and inspired by the U.S. space program, and noted that one of the crew members of Apollo X, Eugene Cernan, became the last person to ever walk on the moon.
"Growing up, astronauts were my heroes--especially considering how many of them came from Oklahoma," said Gumm, a Democrat from Durant. "Apollo X forever changed our perceptions of space exploration. They're still my heroes."
Two of the Apollo X crew members, Stafford and Cernan, will attend a dinner at the Oklahoma History Center Wednesday evening honoring the 40th anniversary of the mission.