Editor's Note: The USA TODAY NETWORK will be auctioning its inaugural non-fungible token (NFT) inspired by the first newspaper delivered to space in 1971. Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space, transported a special edition of TODAY, now FLORIDA TODAY and part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, to the moon and back. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Shepard’s visit, select stories from that edition are being republished, and visual journalist Pat Shannahan assembled more than 300 photographs, illustrations and front pages from five decades of space coverage to re-create the cover as an interactive mosaic. Auction proceeds will benefit the Air Force Space & Missile Museum Foundation in Brevard County and the Gannett Foundation. More information at nft.usatoday.com. Ad astra!
From the beginning man has had his frontiers.
Each frontier has challenged him.
Each challenge has been accepted.
One by one man has mastered these frontiers. only to find new and still more challenging ones awaiting his initiative and his ingenuity.
In the Old World. In the New World. In the East. In the West.
On the land. On the seas. Into the air. All over this planet, Earth.
Then came the biggest frontier and the greatest challenge of them all: space. Man took that challenge, too. and today he takes his biggest step yet into this new frontier.
To the moon.
But it is not the last stop. Not the final destination. It is the first immediate stop in man’s journey into space. As one Space Age philosopher said: with today’s flight, man will be rattling the keys in the door to the universe.
Nevertheless, the moon voyage does complete the first volume of man’s Odyssey into space.
TODAY, your Space Age Newspaper. today publishes the details of that history in a special keepsake volume.
When TODAY first began publication as the nation’s Space Age Newspaper here at the gateway to the moon a little more than three years ago, we said:
“TODAY’s goal is to help preserve the historic traditions of this birthplace of the Space Age, and to insure that we realize the full potential of our bright tomorrow.”
Tomorrow will be bright. And surely it will be different.
The moon will be different now. and so will man.
On future clear nights the world over. when man looks at the moon. no longer will it be that symbol of ultimate unattainability, the unreachable goddess, the mistress of the tides.
It will be just another place, another frontier which man has opened.
It won’t lose its romantic attraction, not any more than New York or Paris or Rio de Janerio have lost their appeal just because man can get there.
Nevertheless. it will be a place. Like Pumpkin Center, South Dakota or Hope Valley, Rhode Island.
For many, the magnitude of tomorrow’s space challenge is difficult to comprehend.
We know not precisely where this next challenge will take us. But it is waiting there for us. Huge. Awesome. Beckoning. Challenging.
And. now, reachable.
MAN’S ODYSSEY TO THE MOON tells of this space age history from start to today and beyond.
This history is told through the collective editing, writing and production resources of the TODAY staff and of the Gannett News Service. the exclusive national staff serving TODAY and the 33 other newspapers in the coast-to-coast communications group headed by Paul Miller, president.
The content. design and editing of MAN’S ODYSSEY TO THE MOON was directed by John C. Quinn. managing editor of the Gannett News Service. and Robert Bentley. managing editor of TODAY. The keepsake volume was published under the supervision of Maurice Hickey. general manager of Gannett Florida Corp.
The story of this modern day Odyssey is told in the writing of:
Sanders LaMont, aerospace writer for TODAY and the Gannett News Service Bureau at Cape Kennedy;
William Rinvle, Lee Hickling and Peter Behr of the Gannett News Service bureau in Washington;
The following members of the TODAY staff — John McAleenan, Bob Wyrick, Homer Pyle, Tom Myers, Burke Edwards, Kent Freeland, and Bill Bunge, editor of the Cocoa Tribune.
Art and color work was directed by Bob Meagher. TODAY art director, and the cover drawing was executed by John Handloser of the TODAY art staff.
The keepsake edition was produced by Buddy Baker, editor of TODAY’s Sunrise magazine, and Carol Richards of the Gannett News Service in cooperation with Jack Dodgen, production manager.
But this volume of history, in its editing and production, really is no different from the daily volume of history that comes to you every morning in your TODAY newspaper.
It is not the work just of those we have mentioned here. It is the work, too, of every single member of the TODAY organization who contributed to the effort. just as each day they contribute to the effort which delivers the world — and beyond it — to your doorstep.
So it is, in a much more magnificent way, with today’s reach to the moon. A group effort. And what a splendid group it is.
It is not just three men going to the moon, brave as they are.
Indeed, it is not just the United States, anxious as this nation is.
It is the world. It is this planet. Earth, which reaches out to the moon today.
Everyone on this earth can share in this excitement.
Everyone will share, we hope, in the benefits which shall flow from man’s latest and greatest effort to push open wider the door to tomorrow.
Godspeed to the moon. And return.
And then. beyond the moon.
A. H. Neuharth