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QFF 2022-05-06
Posted on May 6th, 2022

                    Quick Fact Friday
 
 National Space Day: USS Yorktown and the Apollo 8 Capsule
 
Friday, May 6th, is National Space Day. While most of Mount Pleasant's history has taken place firmly on planet Earth, we do have a piece of space history in our own backyard at the USS Yorktown. Well before the aircraft carrier came to Charleston Harbor in 1975, she originally served in the Pacific theatre of World War II, earning numerous awards and citations. After the war ended the ship remained in service, including during the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1968.
 
On December 21, 1968, NASA launched the Apollo 8 space capsule as part of the first manned mission to orbit the moon. The mission took almost three days to reach its destination and then spent twenty hours completing ten orbits. Astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders became the first human beings to personally see the dark side of the moon. On December 27 the spacecraft reentered Earth’s atmosphere at 24,695 miles per hour, which at the time was the fastest speed ever experienced by human beings. Three parachutes slowed the capsule’s descent, and it splashed into the Pacific Ocean at almost 4 pm falling at only 21 miles per hour. They were only 5,000 yards from the waiting Yorktown, and a helicopter recovered the astronauts and brought them aboard with no complications and much fanfare.
 
Today, the USS Yorktown features a replica of the Apollo 8 capsule that visitors can get inside and experience a simulation of the mission.
 
 
For more information: Patriots PointNASA
 
Image Credit: NASA
The Town of Mount Pleasant Historical Commission releases Quick Fact Fridays about the history of Mount Pleasant and about the Commission, its programs and activities. Historical facts are drawn largely from the Our History section of the Town's website and the Commission's own Mount Pleasant Historical website and app. Follow their links by clicking on the images below to discover what makes Mount Pleasant such a distinctive historical place! To receive Quick Fact Friday messages click here to subscribe. Email us at kmiller@tompsc.com if you're interested in learning more about a particular Mount Pleasant history topic!
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