Former NASA scientist remembers Apollo 11

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

East Texas (KLTV) - Most of us who are old enough remember sitting in front of our TV-set in the summer of '69 when Apollo 11 made history. But 81 year old Tylerite John Harris had a front row seat in NASA control in Houston, on July 20th 1969.

"Almost the entire world was looking upon us.its difficult to explain, its almost like asking you where were you and how did you feel when your first child was born" he says.

A NASA scientist, Harris remembers the excitement, and anxiety of truly going where no man had gone before.

"Men had not done that before and that had to be special, a thought crossed my mind. Were those people ever wrong who had warned us if you put a man on the moon he's going to sink out of sight in the thick dust?" Harris says.

He remembers the roar of the crowd at mission control at landing.

"The words 'eagle has landed' that would cause a heart palpitation" he says.

He was friends with numerous astronauts, and his job was to examine what they brought back from the moon.

"Probably one of the biggest thrills I've ever had , seeing the American flag on the surface of the moon" says John.

He still views the moon program as our finest hour.

"Its there, its done it, NASA has done it" he says.

But he hopes NASA is not done.

"There's more to come , mars is looming".

John Harris moved back to East Texas after retiring from NASA.

He now runs a ranch and raises horses.

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