Apollo 14 note
February 10, 2011 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Apollo 14, with Alan Shepard, American's first man in space, as the Commander, Stuart Roosa, Command Module Pilot and Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot, splashed down forty years ago today. It was flight of the rookies (total previous time in space was 15 minutes, all by Shepard). There were several odd things about the flight, but no need to worry, the moon trees are doing just fine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (10 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
As you can see here, Shepard didn't really hit those balls very far.

Also, Mitchell is a loon. What are those UFO nuts going to do when the files are opened only to reveal there is nothing at all to indicate UFOs are alien spaceships? I suppose that will just give them further "proof" of a cover up. The only way to win with a conspiracy theorist is to ignore them, I guess.
posted by bondcliff at 8:40 AM on February 10, 2011

Never heard that a former astronaut had turned into a UFO nut. From his Wikipedia page:
He offered his opinion that the evidence for such "alien" contact was "very strong" and "classified" by governments, who were covering up visitations and the existence of alien beings' bodies in places such as Roswell, New Mexico. He further claimed that UFOs had provided "sonic engineering secrets" that were helpful to the U.S. government.
I had also never heard any UFO reports involving what appeared to be a large blue box....
posted by DU at 8:45 AM on February 10, 2011

We have one in Washington Square, Philadelphia; I think it is not doing so well honestly.
posted by Mister_A at 8:46 AM on February 10, 2011

A moon tree that is...
posted by Mister_A at 8:46 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

They were in flight to the moon when I was born. I nearly started bidding on some flight memorabilia the other week at rrauctions (by chance there was an article in the Guardian about the auction, the week before). An inch of safety line that had been on the moon. It felt like a symbol for my freshly-cut umbilical. But anyone I mentioned this to just looked at me like I was an idiot.
posted by dowcrag at 8:47 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Ah, man! I was at the state capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday, and the moon tree is planted right by the entrance! Now I have to go back and look at it.
posted by notmydesk at 9:22 AM on February 10, 2011

Also, Mitchell is a loon.

According to books by Deke Slayton and Eugene Cernan, Mitchell wasn't well regarded as a pilot (luna module pilot was considered the lowest position on the Apollo missions) and probably could have been bumped from the mission in favor of Joe Engle if Cernan had pushed for it.

But Engle was part of Cernan's crew, slated for Apollo 17, and supposed to walk on the moon with Cernan. Then later Apollo flights were canceled and Engle was bumped from Apollo 17 so that an actual scientist, geologist Harrison Schmitt, could go to the moon.

Engle got to fly the second space shuttle mission and so far, remains the only astronaut who manually piloted the Space Shuttle from de-orbit to landing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:49 AM on February 10, 2011

We have a moon tree at the Mission in my home town, San Luis Obispo. I learned about it after I moved away, but it's on my to-do list for next time I visit.
posted by lekvar at 12:49 PM on February 10, 2011

My favorite thing about the golf- Shepard said people were always coming up to him and asking him if they ever found those golf balls on the moon.
Shepard's response- "They???"
posted by MtDewd at 2:03 PM on February 10, 2011

When we were kids in elementary school, a teacher had us write to the Apollo 8 crew. We all received official-issue color mission photos in the mail. I kept the address and wrote to the crews of all the subsequent Apollo, and amassed quite a collection of moon photos. For the Apollo 14 letter, my 9 year old brain hatched a plot -- address the letter directly to Shepard and write "Official Business" on the envelope.

The official crew shot from the mission -- autographed by all three members -- is hanging in my office today.
posted by VicNebulous at 2:28 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]

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