Alan Shepard’s wife Louise was elated after watching on TV as Shepard boarded a Navy ship bound for Houston, where he would be safe behind the glass windows of the post-flight quarantine room.
Gradually, as Mitchell worked and glanced at the bright crescent, he was filled with a quiet euphoria, great tranquillity, and an overpowering sense of understanding. It was as if he had suddenly begun to hear a new language, one being spoken by the universe itself.
Would the docking probe that caused so much difficulty a week ago during the first docking work now or would Shepard and Mitchell be forced into a space walk in Lunar orbit?
141:45:30 Shepard: Okay. The abort stage is set. Ascent Engine is Armed. 6, 5, 4…
141:45:38 Mitchell: Proceed with the ignition program
141:45:38 Shepard: …3, 2, 1, 0…
141:45:42 Mitchell: Ignition.
141:45:43 Shepard: We have ignition…
141:45:44 Mitchell: What a lift-off!
“It was terribly, terribly frustrating; coming up over that ridge that we were going up, and thinking, finally, that was it; and it wasn’t – suddenly recognizing that, really, you just don’t know where you are.” Ed Mitchell