Wisconsin man was heavily involved in the Apollo 11 mission

SPARTA, Wis. (WEAU) -- A western Wisconsin man played a big part in Apollo 11 and who got to land on the moon that historic trip.

Born just south of Sparta in Leon, Deke Slayton was one of the first astronauts as part of the Mercury Missions.

After a heart issue grounded Slayton, he stayed involved in NASA and became Director of Flight Crew Operations.

Slayton worked on all the Apollo missions, including personally selecting the crew for Apollo 11.

"Even if you're raised in tiny little Leon and go to school in Sparta you can still do big things with your life. It all depends on your attitude, like I said Deke Slayton was grounded from being the fourth person in space but he still persevered, still thought of himself as an astronaut," said Deke Slayton Museum Interim Manager Alyssa Young.

Slayton's life is remembered at the the Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle Museum in Sparta, where you can also see the only piece of moon rock on display in Wisconsin.