Astronaut Joe Tanner monitors shuttle systems in
space where the typical work day is 16 hours. He says
that going to space was everything he expected it to be and
more. Back on earth, Tanner and his wife Martha, apply
themselves to infinitely greater tasks. "It's very important to
be a part in a local church" says Tanner. Together with their two
children, the Tanners attend a local Baptist church. "We realized
we needed to serve as well as to attend," added Tanner. Today,
he teaches the 10th & 11th grades at church, and together with
his wife, he visits schools where he unashamedly confesses playing
with his food in space and having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
His wife Martha proclaims, "We are living up to the potential of
being who God created us to be. We are His hands. We are His
only means of reaching some people.
In a nail biting event, astronauts Charles Duke, and John Young
landed on the moon in April of 1977, with fuel for only 100
seconds of hover time left." "It was a blast! I had a great time,"
the jovial Duke exclaimed. However, life was not a laughing matter
for him or his family. Duke humbly confesses that, at that time, his
job was his god and that it had caused problems at home.
"I hardly knew my kids when I went to the moon. We looked
All-American family on the outside, but inside there a lot of
troubles. In 1975, Duke's wife Dottie gave her life to Jesus.
Over next two years he noticed "Amazing" changes in her
One day Dottie invited him to a Bible study, and when he gave
life to Jesus, she couldn't believe it.
It's been a long time since Duke spent 71 hours on the moon.
Today, he and Dottie spend their time sharing their secret for a successful
marriage with church groups and atmarriage seminars.
"We go around the world sharing our story and our testimony
about Jesus," said Duke, "If we concentrate on Jesus, he brings
Astronaut Gary Ross has flown on the space shuttle
5 times, and has walked in space 4 times. "Flying in space is great,
but walking in space is like having your cake and eating it too,"
A veteran of 850 hours in space, Ross has had
many memorable moments. In November of 1995, his shuttle
docked with a Russian space shuttle. As they shared each others
food, including American ice cream, he was surprised to see two Christian
icons on the wall above their eating area.
"I don't know how anybody could go through life and not have
Christ as their Savior and not have the hope of eternal life," says
Ross believes he is responsible to help spread the gospel of Jesus.
A member of the United Methodist Church, he recently volunteered with his
church to help out at another church in Costa Rica. "I get involved
in mission projects because it 's something Christ said we should do,"
Alexander McCool is the manager of the space shuttle projects
office at the Marshall Space Center. Involved in the American
rocket program since the mid 50s, he has helped send the first
rocket into space,helped John Glenn become the first man in
history to orbit the earth, and helped Neil Armstrong become the
first man to walk on the moon.
Two years after the Challenger became a fiery grave in the Florida
sky, NASA was prepared to try again. In the control room on that
day, Alexander McCool warned co-worker Gene Thomas, that he
was going to take his hands and pray with him just before lift off. Initially,
Thomas was concerned about what people might think if he was seen holding
hands with McCool. But when the time came, both Thomas and McCool
laid aside all pride and sought God ?s favor together in prayer.
The launch was a success and NASA was back
Gene Thomas will never forget the saddest day in his life. He was NASA?s
launch director when the Challenger exploded just 73 seconds into its flight.
Although an investigation cleared the space
center of all responsibility for the explosion, Thomas suffered great
pain at the loss of his friends on the flight. He was close to all of them.
"The Lord spoke to me and said, "I"m still Lord, I'm still
in control," recalls Thomas. ?Without Christ in my life, I
couldn?t cope with it." Thomas also said that, ?without
the Lord?s hand in anything a Christian does, there is no future."
Today he is the Deputy Center Director for NASA. On Christmas Eve,
1968, as the Apollo 8
made history orbiting the moon, Americans sat by their TV's and
radios listening to the crew read from Gensis, Chapter 1, which describes
how God created the heavens and the earth. The soul
stirring reading finshed with this sign off; "God bless all of you...all
of you on the good earth.