Al Worden

A Tribute to Col. Alfred Worden. Astronaut.

Al WordenIt saddens me to say that Col. Alfred Worden, Apollo 15 astronaut, and much more, died on the 18th March 2020.

I was very fortunate to have met him on a number of occasions, firstly at the New Scientist Live exhibition in London in 2017.

For those who knew him he was a man of great kindness, warmth and energy. He was so generous with his time and passionate about space outreach. His was tireless, appearing at events and conventions all over the world right up until his death at 88. Quite remarkable.

At that event in London we discussed working together- he would choose some of his favourite deep space objects and I would image them.

And so the ‘Al Worden’ Galaxy on Glass collection was born.

Since then many customers from all over the world have received pictures and original signed certificates.

He was always so enthusiastic and at subsequent New Scientist Live events he would come on to my stand and take the time to meet customers, enthuse – and talk about what we may do in the future.

Currently I am still able to sell the images in the collection, but I am not sure for how long. If you are interested in The Rosette, for example, it may may sense to secure it with the Voucher offer and you can take delivery later.  If you are lucky enough to have one of the pictures and a signed certificate – then look after it

I feel humbled and privileged to have met this pioneering human being.

**********

Here is a little more about Col. Warden – courtesy of his web site.

Col. Alfred Merrill Worden, was born in Jackson, Michigan, on February 7, 1932. He received a bachelor of military science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1955 and master of science degrees in Astronautical and Aeronautical Engineering and Instrumentation Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1963. He received an honorary doctorate of science in Astronautical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1971. He attended Randolph Air Force Base Instrument Pilots Instructor School in 1963 and served as a pilot and armament officer from March 1957 to May 1961 with the 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.

Prior to his arrival for duty at the Johnson Space Centre, he served as an instructor at the Aerospace Research Pilots School at Edwards Air Force Base, California – from which he graduated in September 1965. As an instructor, he trained some of the men who would later become fellow astronauts. He is also a December 1964 graduate of the Empire Test Pilots School in Farnborough, England.

He has logged in excess of 4,000 hours flying time–which includes 2,500 hours in jets.

Alfred Worden

Col. Worden was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966, in the 5th group of astronauts selected. He served as a member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 9 flight and as backup command module pilot for the Apollo 12 flight.

Worden served as command module pilot for Apollo 15, July 26 – August 7, 1971. His companions on the flight were David R. Scott, spacecraft commander, and James B. Irwin, lunar module commander.

Apollo 15 was the fourth manned lunar landing mission and the first to visit and explore the moon’s Hadley Rille and Apennine Mountains, which are located on the southeast edge of Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains).

Apollo 15 achievements include: Largest payloads placed in earth and lunar orbits; first scientific instrument module bay flown and operated on an Apollo spacecraft; longest lunar surface stay time (the lunar module, “Falcon,” remained on ground for 66 hours and 54 minutes); longest lunar surface EVA (Scott and Irwin logged 18 hours and 35 minutes each during three excursions onto the lunar surface); longest distance traversed on lunar surface; first use of lunar roving vehicle; first use of a lunar surface navigation device (mounted on Rover-1); first sub satellite launched in lunar orbit; and first EVA from a command module out of Earth orbit for which Col. Worden still holds a record for the furthest deep space EVA.

Al Worden

During this EVA Worden logged 38 minutes in extravehicular activity outside the command module, “Endeavour.” In completing his three excursions to “Endeavour’s” scientific instrument module bay, Worden retrieved film cassettes from the panoramic and mapping cameras and reported his personal observations of the general condition of equipment housed there. Apollo 15 concluded with a Pacific splashdown and subsequent recovery by the USS OKINAWA. In completing his space flight, Worden logged 295 hours and 11 minutes in space.

Al Worden

During 1972-1973, Worden was Senior Aerospace Scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, and from 1973 to 1975, he was chief of the Systems Study Division at Ames in California. After retirement from active duty in 1975, Worden became President of Maris Worden Aerospace, Inc., and was Vice-President of BF Goodrich Aerospace Brecksville, Ohio, in addition to other positions within the aerospace and aviation industries. He is the author of three books, “Hello Earth! Greetings from Endeavour!” [a book of his poetry inspired by his flight on Apollo 15], “I Want to know about a Flight to the Moon” [a children’s book] and, most recently, his autobiography “Falling to Earth“.