posted 03-31-2008 01:44 PM
Good to see you last night, you seemed to be doing a steady trade!
Agree very much with all you had to say about the evening.
The Apollo DVD, which although contained frequently seen stock footage of Apollo 11 and other missions, worked really well with the extracts from ‘The Planets’ as the soundtrack. It did set the scene, especially for those who had never been to this sort of thing before. But we ‘old hands’ enjoyed it too!
As you mentioned the talk was very ‘scripted’ in comparison to those we saw previously from Charlie Duke and Alan Bean, however as you also pointed out it was not without it’s humourous asides.
Buzz mentioned his work in orbital rendezvous was inspired by earlier work in techniques in intercepting enemy fighter jets “over South Korea, but occasionally over North Korea, which we weren’t supposed to”.
On Kennedy’s speech Buzz said he liked the idea of “landing a man on the moon” but liked “returning him safely to the earth” even better.
His talk was basically a potted history of his life, flying and astronaut career with slides on the big screen above the stage. He talked us through his missions and talked with some candour about his post NASA life.
Buzz moved on to what he is involved with now in trying to promote space ‘accessibility’ to ordinary people and concepts for flights to Mars.
He’s been pretty busy in recent years – skiing competitions, scuba diving, NASCAR driving, visiting the North Pole (and with a trip to the South Pole on the cards in the next couple of years), as well as descending in a submersible to the wreck of the Titanic!
There then followed a session where he fielded questions from the hall including one on what he thought about moon hoax theorists. Basically he seemed to say ignore them, don’t give them the notoriety - they will believe what they want to believe irrespective of the facts. He didn’t advocate the old right hook!!
The event was a complete sell out and enjoyed greatly by all who attended, many of whom were seeing a moonwalker for the first time.
There was a signing session afterwards with fees set at £100 books/photographs and £50 for signing the event ticket. I decided to get the photo of Buzz and myself taken at the Autographica dinner a couple of years ago signed. Despite the fee he certainly seemed to have a lot of takers.
Crowd was a bit short on the ‘usual suspects’ but Nick was there of course as was Phil Graham who made the trip up from the Midlands with his son.
Big thanks once again to Ken Willoughby for getting the whole thing to happen and must have moved heaven and earth to get this one off the ground. Look forward to Fred Haise in October, Gene Cernan next March and who knows thereafter…..?