Tulsa Author Brings To Light Bible Moon Mission

Tuesday, February 22nd 2011, 4:43 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa woman is helping to tell the story of a little known part of the manned mission to the moon.

Carol Mersch spent five years researching how astronauts took along copies of the Bible during the historic moon landings.

"This is Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell. This was taken in 2006," Mersch said.

Carol Mersch likes to say she's been to the moon and back. Her new book, Apostles of Apollo, is the result.

It tells the story of what astronauts Edgar Mitchell, Alan Shephard, and Oklahoma's own Stuart Roosa took with them during the Apollo 14 flight to the moon in 1971.

The men had 300 copies of the Bible.

"That is one of the Bibles that landed on the Moon, February 5, 1971," Mersch said.

Barely bigger than a postage stamp, it had to be small and light due to weight restrictions. All 1,245 pages of the King James Version of the Bible were printed on microfilm.

Carol Mersch, Author: I looked at it to make sure. I felt since I was writing a whole book about it I better make sure it was on there.
Dan Bewley, News On 6: What'd you think when you saw that?
Carol Mersch, Author: It takes your breath away. It's crystal clear, every word of it.

One hundred copies of the microfilm were onboard the lunar module when it touched down; another 200 copies stayed aboard the command module that orbited the moon.

Mersch says Reverend John Stout was the force behind getting the Bible to the moon.

He was close to astronaut Ed White, who died in the tragedy of Apollo 1. White wanted the Bible to make the journey with him to the moon and after his death, Stout worked feverishly to make it happen.

Mersch says it was important for the men to have such a cherished piece of their faith with them on such an historic journey.

 "They were men who had a passion for space, had a passion for everything they did, knew no boundaries, knew no risk, had no fear and chose to carry with them those things that meant things to them on Earth," Mersch said.

You can purchase Apostles of Apollo at all the major book selling websites.