From the Archives: Apollo landing

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From the Archives: Apollo landing

Workers use a crane to install the Apollo 009 capsule on the north side of Morrill Hall in 1972.
University Archives and Special Collections

Workers install the Apollo 009 capsule on the north side of Morrill Hall in 1972.

Donated by NASA, the space capsule was on display at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln until 1991. Worn by Nebraska weather, the capsule was removed from campus, refurbished and moved in 1997 to its current home at the Strategic Air Command Museum at Mahoney State Park.

Apollo 009 took part in the first unmanned test flights of the capsules that would transport astronauts to the moon in 1969. The capsule flew in suborbit for 37 minutes on Feb. 26, 1966. It sustained burn marks on the outer skin during reentry and additional damage when it was later dropped from the air into a sand pit to test the feasibility of non-water landings.

The university’s celebration of the capsule on Feb. 15, 1973 was attended by Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmitt.

Learn more about the capsule.

“From the Archives” is a weekly feature in Nebraska Today. Images are provided by Traci Robison, outreach archivist and assistant professor of practice with Archives and Special Collections in the University Libraries. Explore the Archives and Special Collections online. For more information, contact Troy Fedderson at or 402-472-8515.

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