Field exercises held in the Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado), allowed the astronauts, primarily military pilots trained as engineers, to act as geological field observers for Earth-bound scientists.
Early investment in this program, to places such as the Rio Grande Gorge and Valles Caldera, paid many dividends during the “pure” scientific expeditions of Apollo 15, 16 and 17.
~Joseph T. Page II
New Mexico Space Trail
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Official Website: Valles Caldera National Preserve