It was fifty years ago today- Thursday March 14, 1969- Apollo 9 returned to earth following ten days in lower Earth orbit. This wasn’t the exciting mission that Apollo 8 had been a couple months earlier when they went around the Moon and returned but it was a necessary mission if Apollo 11 was going to land on the Moon in July. The crew of astronauts on Apollo 9 included Commander Jim McDivitt, Dave Scott and Rusty Schweickart launched on March 3 and spent their time testing the lunar module’s engines, navigating systems and docking maneuvers as well as backpack life -support systems.The mission was a success. There would be one more tune up Apollo 10 and then off to the moon in mid-July. It looked as if we were going to accomplish JFK’s goal of sending a man to the Moon and back by the end of the decade. It was an exciting period of time to be living in.