tv Fox News Reporting FOX News January 1, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
andy the magellans of our time. last september they bid farewell to a modern day columbus. >> it was a test meant to all-americans of what can be achieved through vision and dedication. >>ca but that eulogy for the first man on the moon delivered by the last to leave it captures the spirit of all those who made that journey. >> ♪ let me see what spring is like ♪ >> american heros whose final missions ended 40 years ago. i'm neil cavudo reporting from the visitor space center in florida. it is hard for people my age to believe that most americans weren't even alive the last time a manl walked on the moon. apolo 17 astronaut on december 14th, 1972.
a number of the explorers who made that trip have passed away. the rest are now in their late 70s and some 80s, but the story they tell still sounds like something out of the future and not the past. it is a story about how america with a combination of vision and high-tech know how and good old-fashioned courage answered the challenge of a rival and stepped into the unknown and achieved what seems as unbelievable today as it wasun a half century ago. it was october 4th, 1957 at the height of the cold war that the soviets launched a beach ball-sized satellite named sputnik which orbited in a n hour and a half. >> they tell us the world may never be the sames again. >> in 1957 when i was still in flight school, sputnik was launched. that was the beginning of the space age. >> the dawn of the space age was the start of the space race. america competing with the soviets for scientific
dominance. but in a world where americans dug bombshelters and worried about missal gaps, science spelled national security. >> the cold war had been prolonged. it was going on. nobody could really see an end to it.n there were all of the under lying risks of nuclear confrontation at the time. >> the next step in that race, manned launches that required a few good men, seven to start. >> there was 110 originally people selected by the air force and the navy to become astronauts. it widdled down to 32 after the interviews and things like that, 32 that went to the clinic. i was the only guy to flunk. >> how come you didn't pass the mercury physicals? >> i had what was known as a high bilirubin which is a pigment in your blood. with that they said, well, you are out. >> you said at a time when you were a little boy you can be
with the dinasaurs or the -- you can be into dinasaurs or rockets. >> when i didn't get into the per ruer key -- mercury program i said i was interested in rockets before those guys could spell it. >> projectco mercury began in 1958 with the goals of putting a human in orbit and doing so before the soviets did. on that second count they failed. a half years after the sputnik shock on april 12th, 1960 you 1 the -- 1961 the soviets out paced the u.s. when a cosmonaut was the first in space. >> they beat us into orbit. we were behind. we were lagging. >> america scrambled to catch up. less than one month later on may 5th, allen shepherd, one of the mercury 7 was one of the first americans in space. just over three months into his presidency john f. kennedy, like millions of other americans across the country was glued to his
television. c >> allen shepherd became an instant hero this country needed. but the fact is he circled the earth a month before and allen came up and went down 16 minutes. >> yfk's sights on beating the the -- jfk wanted to beat out the soviets. he sought out scientist. >> president kennedy here with missal expert van bron started a tour of u.s. space centers. >> i read a letter from van bron that he wrote to kennedy when he said, how can we beat the russians? the letter said we can't beat them anywhere except be the first on the moon. that's what we committed to. >> may 25th, 1961 the president made a dramatic announcement before a joint session of congress. >> i believe this nation should commit itself to
achieving s the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. >> we didn't go to the moon to collect rocks. we went to the moon to stick the flag in the moon before the russians did. >> if we didn't have the cold war, would kennedy have had the same zeal? >> no. >> to have something that would show america's ability to respond to a challenged as well as tdo do it in a full, open and peaceful way i think really did catch the imagination of the american people c and of the politicians at the time. >> catch the imagination it did. >> we are underway. >> on february 20th, 1962, john glenn became the first american to orbit the earth. >> oh that view is tremendous. >> we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they
are easy, but because they are hard. >> the mercury program would ultimately have six manned flights. each mission a step closer to the ultimate goal. then as mercury was winding down on november 22nd, 1963 president kennedy was assassinated. >> to honor his memory and the future of the works that he started, the nasa launch operation center shall here to be known as the john f. kennedy space center. >> in april 1964 nasa launched project gemini. >> the gemini was started and it was a two-man spacecraft. the gemini program was specifically to show that we could do a rendezvous and dock. >> in order to get to the moon you had to have capability of two weeks in space. you had to beke able to rendezvous. you had to be able to do eva, get outside the spacecraft in a spacesuit, and you had to have a guided re-entry.
we practiced all of those missions in gemini. so p gemini was an extremely important part of the lunar program. >> onim june 3rd, 1965 on gemini 4, astronaut edward white was the first american to perform an eva, extra vehicular activity, or spacewalk. >> i feel like a million dollars. >> america was still playing catch up, however. soviet cosmonaut performed a spacewalk three months earlier. the big prize was still up there in the night sky, and the gemini missions were moving forward. each one providing nasa with more information necessary for that ultimate quest. >> we are on our way, frank. >> in december of 1965 gemini 7 rendezvoused with gemini 6a in orbit. making it the first manned spacecraft to do so. gemini 7 also doubled the amount of time any man had been in space. >> many doctors at that time said, you know, people can't
live in zero gravity for too long. of course we went up there for two weeks, and we did see some changes in the body, but it was nothing that couldn't be overcome. >> that was significant, right? that meant that we could go to the moon, that we could chance a mission of that duration, if not longer. that changed people's perspective. >> the moon flights at max would be a two-week flat and we had to make sure -- flight and we had to make sure people could function in that respect. >> the 14-day mission has shown us that man indeed adapts to the space flight environment. th te additional data allows us to medically commit man to a lunar mission. >> america's next step, the apolo program, would get us to the room, but apolo almost cratered as soon as it began. fox news reporting continues after the break.
everybody knew a moon mission was supremely dangerous undertaking. still, few for saw astronauts actually dying on the launchg al no less. just feet away from desperate technicians helpless to save them. on t friday, january 27th, 1967 three astronauts entered apolo's maiden craft designated as204 to conduct a
pre flight test. as test conductors were ready to pick utp the count ground instruments showed an unexplained rise in the oxygen flow into the space ship. six seconds later the frantic voice of ed white came over the intercom. >> there is a fire in the cockpit! >> a fire in the cockpit. >> they were in a spacecraft in pure oxygen. that's a recipe for disears. all they needed was a spark, andee unfortunately they got one. >> from a piece of exposed, uninsulated wiring. >> whyla couldn't they get out? >> the hatcho was on the inside pressing outward against the hull. so to remove the hatch you had to pull it in and turn it and through thet door. whenh the fire started you have 50,000 pounds of pressure holding it in place. >> all three men were dead. >> we lived near the wife of one of the crew members, pat white. >> he had the unenviable task of breaking the news to the wife of edward white. >> that was a pretty tough
deal. when i stopped in front of the house she saw me coming, and even though she had not heard, i could just tell by the look on her face that she knew something was wrong. >> the three were given heros' funerals, and in their honor mission as204 was redesignated apolo 1. it could with el have been the last uh poll -- well have been the last apolo. >> that put the apolo program on hold. frank boreman was instrumental in reviewing the whole issue. >> nasa essentially investigated itself. that kept the outside people who had not the slightest idea what was going on at bay. ite think that was one of the hallmarks really of the confidence that the public had in nasa at that time. we were able to get a team together and point out the failures and fix it. >> boreman's testimony helped the convince the public that although there would always be
risks and nasa can learn from it and it should go ahead. the launch pad disaster may have allowed nasa to get to the moon faster than scheduled. >> we had a opportunity to learn from that mistake, very frag jibing, sad mistake, but to actually accelerate the program. i am not alone in having said that the fire really did make it possible to meet kennedy's goal to land on the moon by the end of the decade of the 60s. >> nasa never designated any flights apolo 2 or 3. apolo 4, 5 and 6 were unmanned missions to test the safety of the rocket. it togeok almost two years before another american crew went into orbit. apolo 7 on october 11th, 1968. the space program was back, but a slow re-entry wasn't going to be enough to meet jfk's deadline and beat the soviets. it would require a daring and
1968 was a year chaos and conflict in the united states. robertot kennedy assassinated. and lbga's presidency and alienating millions of americans against a turbulent backdrop nasa resumed its flights and aimed to test in space the craft it hoped to learn before year's end. a sudden change of plans turned apolo 8 into another make or break mission. >> apolo 8 wasn't going to be
a lunar flight. it was going to be an orbital flight to test to see if everything was correct between two vehicles before we would ever commit them to go to the moon. >> apolo 8 was a big step forward. even if successful america would be trailing the russians in the race to the moon. >> the soviets sent a spacecraft around the moon with animals to see if they could send cause ma notes and try to beat us not for a landing, but at least beat us to g around the moon. they were fairly successful. in the soviet hierarchy they had a big controversy. should we send the cos cosmonauts, and others said no we should send one more time to make sure. >> the cia was getting signals that maybe the soviets were going to try a sir come -- a circum lunar flight. it would have massively under cut the pr potential of a lunar landing or even a lunar
orbital flight. >> to make matters worse for nasa, the lunar module wasn't ready to go into space. it was months behind schedule. but instead of falling further behind the soviets, nasa officials hatched a bold idea. >> the lunar module unfortunately was delayed considerably. so nasa again in one of the great strokes of management substituted apolo 8 from an earth orbital flight to a lunar orbital flight. >> if it worked, america would actually leap frog the soviets in the space race. an astronaut, not a cosmonaut would be the first to fly around the moon. >> i think it was one of the first back gels -- gambles that n asa at the direction of the president took in order to establish that america was better than the soviet union. >> a big gamble indeed. after all, it was less than two years before that apolo 1 demonstrated how complex every mission was. how the smallest oversight could be fatal.
nobody knew that better than frank goreman, a p oi nt man in the investigation. nasa taped him with the mission. >> i was called back, will you volunteer to take apolo 8 to the moon? i said yes, we would be happy to. we found out we would be going to the moon in august of 1968. >> we were sort of at the last minute, just several. months before we were scheduled to launch, but that is what we were asked to do. ours is not the reason why, but to do or die. >> do or die not just for the three astronauts. it was 1968 and it ended with a space disaster. it could end america's lunar requestsa -- quest to good. >> it occurred to me if it was successful we would be a monument to the failure. >> apolo 8 launched pr kennedy space center in florida. >> we have liftoff. >> just over two and a half
hours later the crew was given permission to become the first humans2 to leave either orbit. leave earth orbit. >> using a state-of-the-art computer with one-13th the memory of a modern cal could you you -- calculater he launched and sent the craft hurling on the three-day journey to the moon. >> what does the moon look like? >> the moon is essentially gray, no color. >> as we came into earth rise, we were shocked, dumb founded almost to see this earth coming up. seen it before. we weren't briefed about it. so there was a scramble for cameras. >> on christmas eve while orbiting the moon, this picture titled "earth rise" was photographed by the lander. this shot has become one of the most reproduced space photographs in history. >> that was the only thing in space that had any color. everything else was black and white. the earth was blue with white
clouds and continents. we were a long way from home and it was christmas. it was a very gnaw nostalgic moment. i think bill an deers said it best. he said, we came all the way to the moon and what really perked our interest was the earth. a >> somebody wants to credit me with it, i will take the credit. >>e the men in space are so meme ma rised by space. there are no lines in countries. >> it gives you a true perspective of our existence on earth. you look back at the earth and look how small it is, and how you could cover it up with your thumb. you realize we were so fortunate to have a body that was in the proper position with the sun with the proper mass and everything to allow life to begin. >> with the world engrossed in apolo 8's epic journey, the
astronauts marked the holiday season by taking turns reading from the old -testament. >> god let the waters and heavens be gathered together in one place. let the dry land appear, and it was so. and god called the dry land earth. >> old -testament is the basis of many of the world's religions, not just christian. and so it affected most of the people that would be listening to us. weth thought that was very appropriate. >> level relayed a citing that delighted children worldwide. >> we have been informed there is a santa claus. >> did your family just delay the christmas celebration for after you came back? >> well partly, but i planned ahead of time and gave my wife a present that -- the card said "from the man on the moon." >> show all of us guys up. >> apolo 8 showed everyone up, certainly the soviets. while america was leading the space race, the end of the decade
president kennedy set the goal to land a man on the moon before the 60s ended. under president lyndon johnson the merchs caught up with the soviets and then passed them out right when apolo 8 orbited the moon, but no man had yet set foot on the lieu that are surface. lunar surface. and when president nixon went into office the soviets were not about to get their first. the next leg of the space race was a series of sprints. >> we launched a saturn 5 every two months, a remarkable achievement. >> each mission got thebl astronauts a little closer to their ultimate goal. apolo 9 launching march 1st and they were the first to test the lunar module in space. apolo 10 launching may 18th, 1969 with stafford, young and sunik and flew
within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface. that would be a dress rehearsal for the apolo 11, demanded by neil armstrong. >> what will your plans be in the extremely unlikely event that the lunar module does not come offff the lunar surface. >> well it is an unpolicent sent -- unpleasant thing to think about and we choose not to think that at the present time. >> they would walk on the moon with arm stropping. >> there is a lot of gossip back and forth, buzz, about how it ended up neil armstrong was the first man. there was hope you were supposed towe be, right? >> there was an uncertainty. every eva was done by the junior person. th te senior person's responsibility has much more it would seem to me the outside activities should be the job of the junior person.
>> who is that supposed to be? was it going to be you? was it going to be armstrong? >> there is a lot of discussion about the commander leading his troops somewhere and the commander as a symbolic person. neil was closer to the door, but i won't tell you which decision. >> it is weird, right? >> it is not weird. i went home and told joan, my wife, frankly i just assume be on a later mission where i wouldn't have to put up with all of the celebrity speech making and rest of this for the rest of my life. >> july 16th, 1969, show time. >> you think about the countdown as the curtain opening. worry is a wasted emotion. it clouds clear thinking that is absolutely needed when somethinghi goes wrong. >> the launch, another
dazzling pillar of fire. the trip from the earth to the moon without incident. >> we have a happy home. there is plenty of room for the three of us. >> anda then four days into the missionme came time to do what no astronaut had done before. decouple the lunar module named eagle from the command module and guide it safely to the moon. on their way down, armstrong and aldren realized they were going long, beyond the landing zone and into a boulder field. that's when armstrong took over. diverting from the planned computer path, he was now flying above unfamiliar territory. he was searching for a safe spot to land while running low on fuel. >> so we are on the far side of what was undesirable, and i am reading the altitude. it is about a hundred feet. >> 60. >> 60 seconds.
>> 60 seconds. >> okay, a hundred feet and still a ways off the ground and we have 60 seconds. i'm getting a little concerned. >> so it got tense in mission control. we are biting our nails and holding our breath because we are running out of gas. i called eagle, 30 seconds and 13 seconds later on my stopwatch i heard contact, engines stop. after a pause neil very calmly said, the eagle has landed. >> and i responded with. >> you have a bunch of guys about to turn blue. we are breathing again. thanks a lot. >> the lunar module landed july 20th, 4:18 p.m. eastern time. 37 minutes later , neil armstrong took humanity's first step on the moon. what he said o might be the most famous words of the 20th century or any century. >> that's one small step for
man, one giant leap for man kind.m, >> we said have you thought about what you are goingwe to say? "well i don't know. when we land i will think about it." i nevert know when to take him seriously. >> armstrong and aldren only spent a few hours on the surface, but it was enough time to bounce around and set up scientific experiments and collect moon rocks and take several famous photos. aldren with the american flag, a footprint on the moon and probably the most iconic of all. >> just walking and then he said, stop. hold it. and i stopped and looked at himst and they took the picture. people haveur asked me what is the significance of this picture. i say i got three words,
location, location, location. >> as a 10-year-old kid i am looking at you looking at that desolate place, and what was it like? >> well, you used the same word i did, but i prefaced desolate with magnificent because of humanity's reaching outward and accomplishing something that people thought was impossible. >> apolo 11 made it it to the moon six months ahead of the deadline jfk had set at the beginning of the decade. it was left to another president to congratulate the astronauts. >> one priceless moment in the whole history of man, all the people on this earth are truly one. >> president nixon planned two different speeches. one if you succeeded that you did, and one if you didn't. fate has ordained the men who
entered the moon to explore and stay on the moon and rest in peace. these brave men, neil armstrong and aldren know there is no hope with their recovery, but they also know there is hope foreman kind in -- for mankind in their sacrifice. that's if you didn't make it. >> it was pioneering. it was doing something that hadn't anywhere been done before. >> armstrong aldren and collins splashed down on july 24th, 1969. the space race was over. stars and stripes still there. >> coming up inmi the 1960 there's was a hit tv show "lost in space" and a movie" marooned." as long as humans dreamed of exploring the heavens they shuddered at the possibility of never getting back. the astronauts of apolo 13, that nightmare almost came true.
imagine if i told you that next week or next month or next year americans would be landing on the moon. how huge would that be? so it is hard to believe that after apolo 11 the idea of going to the moon became almost old hat. after apolo 12 returned to the moon in november of 1969 some people were actually feeling that these trips were getting routine. then the world was reminded starkly they were anything but. >> an analogy i use, the first time youut flew across the atlantic it created a lot of news, but now we got hundreds of flights across the atlantic, and nobody cares. but we h never lost our enthusiasm or our excitement because we knew what we were doing was very, very important scientifically.
>> and of course plenty of astronauts still wanted their shot to walk on the moon. one was allen shepherd, the first american in space who had not been in space since that flight in 1961. >> allen shepherd had len grounded for -- had been grounded for nine years. wiser heads in management said, shepherd doesn't have that much training so far. we could either give him more training which would take 13 and he would get 14. >> level had gone to space three times and/or bitted the moon would have a chance to walk on the surface that much sooner. apolo 13 launched at 1313 military time. it was set to enter lunar orbit on the 13th of april. but the crew, level, hayes and swagger were having nothing but good luck. the crew iniffed a broadcast showing how comfortably they lived and worked in
weightlessness. >> this is the crew i of apolo 13. >> nine minutes later, oxygen tank number two blew up causing the number one tank to also fail. >> houston, we have a problem. >> houston, we have a problem. words that would be forever linked to commander jim level. >> when the explosion occurred , i thought to myself, why me? for a little while i couldn't believe what was happening. then all of a sudden i said, well, it is me and it is now. so what's next? >> the command module's normal supply of electricity, light and water all lost. there was no heat source. they were 200,000 miles from earth and going in the wrong direction. >> did you ever think i might die? >> well, we thought our chances were about 10%. >> did you really? >> oh yes. when we realized after we saw theal oxygen escaping that things could be really bad.
>> we have broken into space. >> as the world watched ground control in houston faced a formidable task. think of a way for the crew to fix their space ship, test it and then write out step by step procedures for the astronauts to follow just to get home. >> we immediately went to the simulators to try to do in the simulators what they had to do in the damaged apolo 13 spacecraft to get them home. >> we are trying to come up with some good ideas for you. >> one was to shutdown the command module to conserve the remaining energy and use the lunar module. a it was used for shuttling the members to and from the moon as a life boat. >> we knew we had the lunar module and it had power and the batteries and oxygen. >> but not enough. >> no. but if we could use it to get us back home again, but if not we were going transmit as long
as we could so that the people would have some idea of what to do to correct for future flights. >> you guys are doing real good work. >> so are you guys, jack. >> you sounded so calm, but you in particular, captain, sounded so at ease. if that were me i would be barney t fife. i am 200,000 miles from home. my space ship blew up, and m why not feeling optimistic. what went through your mind? >> a lot of people said you didn't understand the situation. >> another crisis. carbon dioxide levels were getting dangerous lehigh. ground control fixed that by instructing the crew to build a makeshift rig they called "the mailbox" to purge the deadly gas from the craft and keep oxygen levels safe. this bought some time for the crew who were barely eating and running low on water. >> you think you lost 14 pounds? >> i didn't realize i lost 14 pounds.
i guess i was all charged up. >> they were sick, freezing and tired. but they were safe for now. mission control's next task was to get the broken down craft out of the lunar landing course and back on a free return to earth's trajectory. engineers in houston figured the crew could do this by executing two separate burns or accelerations made from the limping command module. towering that up after the long, cold fleet with one of mission's control's greatest achievements. w flat controllers generated the necessary procedure to do this in three days. something t like that would normally take three months. >> we got smarter and smarter and smarter. then it became let's don't make a mistake. >> people across the globe hoped for a miracle. they got one. of apolo 13 splashed down safely in the south pacific ocean on april 17th.
>> it was a failure in its initial mission, but in reality it was a try triumph in the ability of people to overcome adversity. >> that triumph likely gave allen shepherd, the man lovell switched flights with to walk on the moon nine months later. shepherd made the moon his low gravity driving range launching two golf balls with a 6 iron he smuggled aboard apolo 14. >> i fantasized about landing on the moon, what i was going to do and how i would act on the lunar surface. >> but lovell would never get the chance to go back. >> so close and yet so far. >> apolo 15 launched july 26th, 1971 with david scott, james irwin and alfred warden uh barred. apolo 16 launched in 1972. it carried gong young, maddingly and charles duke. they were the first missions
not long after neil armstrong made his giant leap foreman kind a new expression entered our lexicon. if we can put a man on the moon why can't we -- fill in the blank. keep gum from sticking to our shoes. a joke, yes, but it showed how americans viewed the apolo as the ultimate human achievement up to that point. or will it be for all time?
>> have i been asked a million times how does it feel to make that first step on the moon? i knew when i made that first step it was mine. nobody could take it away from me. >> yet he almost gave up that chance. he had done almost everything an astronaut could do and even buzzing the moon in apolo 10, except he never set foot on the lunar surface. he turned down serving as apolo 16 hoping to command a flight of his own. there was no guarantee there would be an apolo 17 or he would be on in it. >> this is the last of the moon landings, buts not the least. it has to be the best. >> that's the way we feel about it. >> his crew, the first nonmilitary trained astronaut. the launch, america's first ever at night took place on december 7th, 1972. the flight went smoothly. while looking back at the
earth schmidt snappedt this photo, now known as "the blue marble picture." >> wehe had our view of a nearly full earth.ur i too took that from about 34,000 miles away. nasa tells me it is still the most requested photograph from theaw apolo archives. >> apolo 17 arrived to the moon on december 11th. and during the dissent to the surface, they learned that being in command while an honor is also a heavy burden. >> you had to change some things at the last second. >> that's right. but you can't push the stop button and say, oops, we have a problem. let's talk about it. >> you get down to 200 feet and we got within what we call the dead man's curve. if the decent engine failed you cannot stage fast enough to fire the engine and go back into orbit. one way or the other you will land. and then when i touched the light thatblue says shut the engine down because if you landed with the jenin burning it is possible a back pressure could have exploded the engine.
of course, it ruins your day. >> yeah. >> and you press the button and boom. then you feel positive gravity. the first thing i remember is looking out at this mountainous valley and realize that i am now where no human being haous ever been before. >> that's beautiful. it has to be one of the most proud moments of my life, i guarantee you.an >> the total time we were outside thtae spacecraft was 22 hours. that's the longest of any crew outside the spacecraft. >> you wanted to be out there on the moon all the time. >> jack schmidt and ron evans had never flown before. i said you only come this way once. >> n strolling on the moon one day ♪ >> enjoy. they did. i did. we bounced around, but it was a natural response to our environment. >>po hippity-hoppity. >> and going out longer and
staying out longer left them exposed to the moon elements. every minute they spent outside involved risk as they soon discovered with the lunar rover. >> he hooked the hammer on the fender and broke it off and the dust was raining down on you and the equipment and everything like that. >> and on the moon dust squalls disaster. >> dust affects the thermal absorption of your suit and you get warmer. you use up the cooling water faster. >> in the direct sunlight the temperature of the moon's surface rises well above the boiling point. >> it took some time, but we clamped a new o dust flap made of taped together photographs that worked extremely well for the rest of the mission. needless to say we were honorary members of many automotive repair associations. >> you had a couple of close calls there. you got dust on your spacesuit and could have burnt up. >> when you leave the earth you put yourself in a new environment of risk. people said you had a lot of guts. i didn't have guts. i knew what i was doing. i didn't go to the moon not to come back. >> and soon enough it was time to come back, but not before
the sight of the earth blooming with color, atmosphere and light in a cold, black sky profoundly affected him. >> i promise you if i could take every human being with me for five minutes, stand them next to me on the surface of the moon and look back at the earth, the world might very well be a better place to live in. there is no question in my mind that there is a creator of the universe. >> once you are exposed and see what you see, there is no atheist in space. >> there is nothing that created dust particles and then eventually life. it is inconceivable. >> on december 14th, 1972 after collecting almost 250 pounds of lunar samples, the most of any crew, the mission was over. >> i started up the ladder and i looked down at my final foot print and i knew i wasn't coming back this way. i looked at the earth and
multi color blues and the oceans and the clouds and not tumbling through space, but with purpose and an order and turned on an axis and started up the ladder. i was looking for that perverbial freeze button because i wanted to keep this moment going. >> america's challenged of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. >> you were the last human being to touch that surface. how does that make you feel? >> humble. >> we leave what we came and god willing that we shall return. with hope for all mankind. god speed to the crew of apolo 17. >> i am convinced that the
space program will come back. >> the country needs to have something to look forward to, to look up to, to be proud of. look how far we went in seven years. my grandmother on a farm in michigan had a ring telephone, no electricity, an outhouse, and she watched the first guy walk on the moon in her lifetime. >> i would like to see the next generation leave footprints like we left on the moon. >> i hope that happens some day. >> it has been 40 years since we left the moon. f the apolo astronauts thought that wee would go back or reach for even more distant goals. after all, that is the very nature of civilization, to continually build on our great accomplishments. yes the space program has continued and yes the technology of the space shuttle and the mars rover dazzling. but we have never equaled the jaw-dropping human apolo orhments of captured the imagination of younger americans in quite the same way. and with our national debt now nearly reaching to the moon,
it is kind of hard to see taxpayers spending much on space flight anytime soon. but maybe, maybe by spending a little time looking back, we can at least learn a new the lesson that apolo showed us. if we americans set our sights on a goal and summon the collective will to achieve it, even the sky isn't the limit. i'm neil cavuto. thanks for watching. ..