Before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out of the lunar module on July 20, 1969, Aldrin unpacked a small plastic container of wine and some bread.
He had brought them to the moon from Webster Presbyterian Church near Houston, where he was an elder.
Dr Mark Harwood, who played a key role in the development of Australia’s national satellite system, spoke to Neil Johnson on Vision Christian Radio’s 20Twenty program about the details behind this monumental event.
In his book ‘Magnificent Desolation’, he told the story of how he radioed to Nasa:
He said “I would like to request a few moments of silence and to invite each person listening in wherever and whomever they may be to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way.”
He then ate and drank the communion elements.
Watch a reenactment of the first communion in space in the video below, which comes from the miniseries ‘From the Earth to the Moon’.
Buzz Aldrin said in a 1970 copy of Guideposts magazine, “I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon and the first food eaten there were communion elements.”
Continue listening to Bob and Dr Mark Harwood’s full discussion on the Biblical significance of this event in the audio clip below.