The Apollo space module splashed down in the Pacific Ocean just off Hawaii on Thursday (24 July) to end one of the greatest chapters in man's history of space exploration.
GV Apollo module splashing down
SCU Capsule giving off coloured dye ZOOM OUT TO LV Helicopter ranging in
SV Technicians at Houston
GV Swimmers jump from helicopter
CU Module righting itself
SV Houston control room
CU Tom Stafford emerges from module (3 shots)
GV Houston control cheering
GV Astronauts standing on rostrum on "New Orleans"
Initials CL/0237 CL/0247
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Background: The Apollo space module splashed down in the Pacific Ocean just off Hawaii on Thursday (24 July) to end one of the greatest chapters in man's history of space exploration.
The splash down happened a little later than scheduled, but was right on target.
There was one hitch, a gust of wind turned the module on its side in the water, but using special inflationary balancing measures, the astronauts were able to right their craft.
All three men .. Commander Tom Stafford and crewmen Vance Brand and Donald Slayton .. emerged from the spacecraft fit and well, after it had been picked up by the recovery ship, the "New Orleans".
They stood on deck with heads bowed as a prayer of thanksgiving for their safe return was said, and then sat through a congratulatory telephone call from U.S. President, Gerald Ford.
President Ford said that the Soyuz-Apollo mission had added a "new dimension to international co-operation".
The Soyuz crew of Alexi Leonov and Valery Kubasov landed safely on Monday.
After the message from their President the three American astronauts were whisked away for a series of medical check-ups.
The splash down marks the end of the United States' Apollo Space Programme which, apart from the joint Soyuz mission, had put 12 men on the moon and returned them home safely.