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On May 18, 1969, Apollo 10 was launched into outer space. Mission: orbit the moon. The flight was a test run, a crucial last-chance rehearsal leading up to the historic Apollo 11 mission that in a matter of two months only would carry the first people to walk on the moon.
Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the Apollo program and the second to reach lunar orbit. NASA and the Newseum – a Washington,DC-located 250,000-square-foot museum offering visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits – will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 10 mission on its anniversary date, May 18.
Astronauts Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan will participate in the program moderated by journalist-in-residence Nick Clooney. The event is open to reporters and visitors to the Newseum, and will be carried live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s Web site.
During the mission, John Young piloted the command module, while Stafford and Cernan descended to within 8.4 nautical miles of the moon’s surface. Cernan, the second American to walk in space, later would become the last person to walk on moon during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Apollo 10’s journey to the moon and back to Earth took 192 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds.