Training for the Moon

John Young squinted through his sunglasses into Meteor Crater outside Flagstaff, Arizona on a cool January day in 1963. With him were Neil Armstrong, Frank Borman, Charles "Pete" Conrad, Jim Lovell, James McDivitt, Elliot See, Thomas Stafford and Ed White. They were guided and briefed by Dr. Eugene Shoemaker and Charles Marshall from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Branch of Astrogeology and Surface Planetary Exploration. This geologic field trip to Flagstaff was the very first for the new group of astronauts destined for the Apollo missions, but training for them to identify surface features and formations on the Moon actually began within a year of President John Kennedy making his bold decision for the United States to land astronauts on the Moon in May 1961.

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