Massachusetts Air National Guard’s Captain Russell “Rusty” Schweickart distinguished himself during NASA’s Apollo missions. After being selected for the Astronaut program in 1963, Schweickart achieved several firsts in space during Apollo 9, which laid the foundation for landing an American on the moon.
Hi, I’m Will Roulett, Director of the National Guard Memorial Museum, here in DC, and this is YOUR Minuteman Minute! Although the Space Force is our newest branch of the military, the Cold War’s Space Race gave several Air National Guard members the chance to distinguish themselves during the Apollo missions. This patch commemorates Apollo 9, which included Astronaut Russell “Rusty” Schweickart on its crew. Schweickart served in the Massachusetts Air National Guard before he was one of the astronauts selected for NASA’s Apollo missions in 1963. After six years of training, Schweickart served as the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 9, which launched in March of 1969. He performed the first manned test flight of the lunar module and the first in-space test of the portable life support backpack. These tests were critical to the success of subsequent missions and the landing of an American on the moon later that year. Come see this and a whole lot more at the National Guard Memorial Museum. I’m Will Roulett [Look at watch.] and that’s been your Minuteman Minute brought to you by the National Guard Educational Foundation.