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US Manned Spacecraft History And Photography
Apollo 14 — Kitty Hawk
Kennedy Space Center
Titusville, FL

Apollo 14

• Serial Number:110
• Flight:AS-509
• Mission:Apollo 14
• Nickname:Kitty Hawk
• Crew:Shepard, Mitchell, Roosa
• Launch Date:1-13-1971
• Flight Duration:9 Days, 0 Hours, 2 Minutes
As of July, 2009, the Apollo 14 spacecraft is on display at the Saturn V Center on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center.

The Apollo 14 spacecraft was on display for several years at the US Astronaut Hall Of Fame, located in Titusville, Florida. The US Astronaut Hall Of Fame began as an independent organization founded to celebrate American astronauts and to run the Florida location for Space Camp. The organization ran into financial troubles and closed in the early 2000's. The NASA Visitor's Center, which is semi-independent from NASA, and not funded by NASA, stepped in and took over the Hall Of Fame. As a result, tickets for the KSC Visitor Center are also good at the Hall Of Fame. The photo above is from the Hall Of Fame display.

Apollo 14 was the mission that NASA simply had to have to show that space travel could be a relatively routine event and reestablish the confidence of the American public following the Apollo 13 accident. While the Apollo 14 landing did have some glitches, the flight was nearly flawless. It was the closest landing to its target of any of the moon landings. It was the first to have full color TV (the color TV camera on Apollo 12 was damaged, and Apollo 11 did not have a color TV camera). It was the first to have the moon cart. Finally, it was the only moon landing to feature one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, Alan Shepard. Shepard developed an inner ear problem that grounded him after his first sub-orbital flight. He underwent an experimental surgery that cured the problem, and Deke Slayton cleared Shepard to fly.

Despite all these firsts, the public largely remembers Apollo 14 for exactly one event. That was Shepard playing golf on the moon. Al had an adapter made that would attach a golf club head to the end of one of their exploration tools. He smuggled two golf balls to the moon, and hit one that went miles and miles. Analysis afterwards showed that miles and miles was actually about 400 yards. The part about the smuggling is also an embellishment, Shepard had approval to take the golf balls as part of his personal kit. Shepard was 47 years old at the time, the oldest person and only Mercury astronaut to have walked on the moon.

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