Charlie Duke was 36 when he was the youngest man to walk on the moon. Now 81, he’ll be among a crew of Apollo veterans to walk the talk in Balboa Park.The San Diego Air & Space Museum plans a forum June 7 featuring of astronauts and mission control directors from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs at “America Celebrates the 45th Anniversary of Apollo 16,” Duke’s mission.
Tickets for a reception and dinner cost $295 a person with limited seats available. See details here.
Apollo 16 is considered one of the high points of space exploration and one of the most ambitious scientific expeditions ever. Proceeds from the evening benefit the Museum’s youth education programs.
Besides Duke, who also was capsule communicator for the first moon landing, Apollo 11, other expected speakers are:
Bill Anders – Apollo 8. Along with Jim Lovell and Frank Borman, Apollo 8 was the very first mission to leave earth orbit and reach the moon. Anders’ photo – ‘earthrise’ – above the lunar horizon revolutionized how we see our home planet.
Walt Cunningham – Apollo 7. The first manned Apollo flight, following the disastrous Apollo 1 fire. Cunningham, Wally Schirra and Donn Eisele restored American confidence in space flight, leading to a moon landing less than a year later.
Al Worden – As command module pilot for Apollo 15, the first extended scientific exploration of our moon, Worden spent six days orbiting the moon, including three days completely alone, the most isolated human in existence.
Gerry Griffin – Lead flight director for three moon landings – Apollos 12, 15 and 17 – and a key figure in resolving the Apollo 13 crisis. Griffin consults on matters related to future deep space exploration.
Glynn Lunney – Apollo 13 flight director. During the Apollo 13 crisis, Lunney and his team faced the challenge of having to power up the lunar module, while transferring guidance and navigation data to it from the dying command module. He was a NASA employee from its creation in 1958, and was a key figure from the Mercury missions through to Space Shuttle era, including overseeing the first international space mission.
“This is an incredible opportunity to meet and see American heroes who literally made history,” said Jim Kidrick, president and CEO of the museum. “A gathering of so many of the remaining members of NASA’s legacy space programs — Mercury, Gemini and Apollo — is a rare and important event in today’s world.”
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