• Pittsburgh man designed patch for Apollo 11 moon landing spacesuits

    Updated:

    PITTSBURGH - As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, we all know the names of the two men who landed on the moon: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.  

    The name of the third man on the crew, Michael Collins, is lesser-known. But there is a fourth name you probably never have heard, and he's from Pittsburgh.

    Clark McClelland told Channel 11's Jennifer Tomazic that July 20, 1969 was a day of total happiness and exhilaration.

    You can now customize your WPXI News App to receive alerts for stories like this one. CLICK HERE to find out how.

    The 84-year-old had a front-row seat for Armstrong's moon walk.  That's because he was an astronaut himself and designed and built launch towers for NASA at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    "We had so many people there. Millions of people all over the place," he said.

    While watching the mission, McClelland paid close attention to the patch on the spacesuits because every mission has its own special patch.  For Apollo 11, McClelland is the one who designed it.  He worked with the astronauts to get it just perfect and said it took 34 attempts to come up with one everyone liked.

    >>>>RELATED: Events mark the 50th anniversary of moon landing

    "What's on the first emblem of Apollo 11 is the American eagle, the bald eagle, circling the moon to land on it.  And the Sea of Tranquility, where they landed with Apollo 11.  And our Earth in the background with Apollo 11," McClelland said of the patch he drew by hand.

    Pictures of the patch were given to McClelland by members of the Apollo 11 crew.  He also had one stitched on his jacket.

    McClelland retired from NASA after 36 years.  He teared up while talking about his time there, and said he's thankful for the opportunities and career he had.

    "I love it so much and I miss it bad," he said.  "I think of it and I get tears in my eyes."


    TRENDING NOW:



     

    Next Up: