Deep within the rugged mountains of Southern California and rising above the desert landscape of Southern New Mexico are the oncemajestic historic rocket test stands and facilities that helped send humans to the moon for the first time in 1969. Many of these areabandoned. Countless others across the American landscape and on the lunar surface have become ruins, silent and largely forgotten.
The Final Mission explores the critical sites linked to space exploration and calls for their urgent preservation. The authors provide fascinating background information on significant sites and discuss ways to preserve and protect the buildings and artifacts that remain for future generations. These facilities helped refine the Saturn V rocket engines that carried the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon and developed the critical equipment that made it possible for humans to survive and return safely to Earth. This book gives these sites the recognition they have long been due for their roles in the landmark Apollo missions that blazed at the height of the twentieth-century space race.
Lisa Westwood is cultural resources manager at ECORP Consulting, Inc. and a professional archaeologist. Beth O'Leary, professor emerita of anthropology at New Mexico State University, is coeditor of Handbook of Space Engineering, Archaeology, and Heritage. Milford Wayne Donaldson is president of the firm Architect Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA. He is chairman of the national Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the former State Historic Preservation Officer for the state of California.