MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – This week marks the 50th anniversary of the United States putting men on the moon. A Memphis man was a flight controller for NASA and worked on that Apollo mission.
You’ve seen the footage of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking the first steps on the moon, but Bill Weppner was in the control room on that historic day. He had worked as a propultionist on the mission.
“It was a very big deal but for us flight controllers as engineers we looked at it a job an objective,” said Bill Weppner, former flight controller. “All and all it was very much like we had practiced for weeks prior,” he added.
Weppner is going to Houston for this week’s 50th anniversary of the mission.
“That’s going to be a tremendous joy for me to reconnect with many of the colleagues I worked with so closely,” said Weppner. “We know this is a lifetime event. Many of us are well into our 70s and 80s. There might not be an event like this for the 60th reunion.”
Weppner says a documentary playing at the Pink Palace shows viewers what it was like to be there 50 years ago.
“When you see the movie, you are part of it. You are in it. You are on the beach with all the other fans. You are on the aircraft, are on the moon with Alridge and Armstrong. It’s that good.” said Weppner.
Weppner worked on a total of 7 Apollo missions. Memories he will never forget.
“I feel an enormous amount of pride of having to be blessed with the opportunity to be a part and a very small part of this enormous team,” Weppner said.
The Pink Palace will host a series of events Tuesday from 11 am to 2:30 pm to mark the anniversary of “Lift Off.” Weppner will be there signing posters.
Also, there will be an event at the University of Memphis’ University Center July 16. It begins at 5:30pm. Weppner will introduce the documentary, and then he will host a Q & A session.