A star-studded forum of key figures from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs recently shared a special evening with guests at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
“This was incredible opportunity to meet and see American heroes who literally made history,” said Jim Kidrick, President and CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
L to R: Fred Haise, Walt Cunningham, Al Worden, Charlie Duke and Gerry Griffin.
San Diego, CA – A star-studded forum of key figures from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs shared a special and truly historic evening with guests recently at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
The forum included some of the biggest names in NASA history, including
Charlie Duke – Apollo 16. The youngest astronaut to walk on the moon and CAPCOM for Apollo 11 – the historic first moon landing.
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.
Gerry Griffin – Lead Flight Director for three moon landings – Apollo 12, 15 and 17 – and a key figure in resolving the Apollo 13 crisis. Griffin’s NASA vision was always forward looking, and he routinely consults on matters related to future deep space exploration.
Fred Haise – Apollo 13, Space Shuttle Enterprise. As Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 13, Haise planned to land on the surface of the moon and make a series of explorations. Instead, he battled to survive the journey around the moon and back home. He had previously served on the backup crews for Apollo 8 and Apollo 11. Later, he flew Space Shuttle Enterprise to three successful test landings, clearing the way for the shuttle to fly in space.
Al Worden – As Command Module Pilot for Apollo 15, the first extended scientific exploration of our moon, Worden spent six days orbiting our neighbor in space, including three days completely alone, the most isolated human in existence.
“This was incredible opportunity to meet and see American heroes who literally made history,” said Jim Kidrick, President and CEO of the San Diego Air & Space 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. ‘America Celebrates the 45th Anniversary of Apollo 16’ was the place to be this summer, not just for aviation and space enthusiasts, but for anyone who wanted to learn the true meaning of courage and perseverance.”
San Diego Air & Space Museum President and CEO Jim Kidrick.
The evening was expertly moderated by Mark Larson of AM 760 KFMB Radio and KUSI TV. Larson guided the panel through an in-depth discussion as of the men shared their experiences during their time at NASA and offered their unique insights into the future of space exploration. As a result, more than 200 guests got a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most important eras in American aviation and space development.
Mark Larson of AM 760 KFMB Radio and KUSI TV moderated the evening's panel.
In all, only twenty-four Americans journeyed to the moon in just four years – from 1968 to 1972. Lunar exploration hit new heights during the last two of those four years, with extended stays on the moon, ambitious exploration on the surface and from orbit, and long journeys in electric powered lunar rovers.
Apollo 16 is considered by many one of the high points of space exploration and one of the most ambitious scientific expeditions ever.
The astronauts’ accomplishments were made possible through the hard work of a team of hundreds of dedicated men and women who spent more than ten years focusing on successfully landing on the moon.
Proceeds from the evening benefit the Museum’s youth education programs.
Sporting new personalized leather jackets, Gerry Griffin, Walt Cunningham, Fred Haise, Al Worden and Charlie Duke on stage with President & CEO Jim Kidrick and Museum Board Members.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California’s official air and space museum and education center. The Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and was the first aero-themed Museum to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Now showing: Be the Astronaut, a fun, interactive experience where you fly and spaceship, drive a rover and land on the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and an asteroid. The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with admissions until 4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.