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  7/30: NASA's Ambassador of Exploration Alfred Worden award ceremony (Florida)

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Author Topic:   7/30: NASA's Ambassador of Exploration Alfred Worden award ceremony (Florida)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-28-2009 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Honors Apollo Astronaut Al Worden with Moon Rock

NASA will honor Apollo astronaut Al Worden with the presentation of an Ambassador of Exploration Award for his contributions to the U.S. space program.

Worden will receive the award during a ceremony Thursday, July 30, at 4 p.m. EDT. The ceremony will be held at the Apollo Saturn V Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, where the moon rock will be displayed.

NASA is giving the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the first generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs for realizing America's goal of going to the moon. The award is a moon rock encased in Lucite, mounted for public display. The rock is part of the 842 pounds of lunar samples collected during six Apollo expeditions from 1969 to 1972. Those astronauts who receive the award will then present the award to a museum of their choice, where the moon rock will be placed for public display.

Worden served as command module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission, which set several moon records for NASA, including the longest lunar surface stay time, the longest lunar extravehicular activity and the first use of a lunar roving vehicle. Worden spent 38 minutes in a spacewalk outside the command module and logged a total of 295 hours, 11 minutes in space during the mission.

Worden was born in Jackson, Mich. He received a bachelor of military science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1955, and master of science degrees in astronautical and aeronautical engineering and instrumentation engineering from the University of Michigan in 1963.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 07-31-2009 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Photo credit: KSCVC/Andrea Farmer
Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana (left) and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden (right), both former astronauts, present Apollo 15 command module pilot Al Worden with the Ambassador of Exploration Award at the Apollo-Saturn V Center, part of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where the acrylic-encased moon rock will be displayed.

Ken Havekotte
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From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 08-01-2009 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a very special ceremony and I am so happy that Col. Worden decided to donate "his" moon rock to the Apollo Saturn V Center here at Kennedy Space Center. It was my first opportunity in seeing Charlie Bolden as NASA's new administrator. In addition, as already noted, former shuttle astronaut and KSC director Bob Cabana spoke along with KSC's Lisa Malone. Also attending was Gen. Tom Stafford, Guenter Wendt, Hugh Harris, and members of the Worden family. Worden's piece of the moon is the second such award presented to the Florida Space Coast. The first was from the Stu Roosa family and resides at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville.

AstroAutos
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From: Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
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posted 08-01-2009 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to Col. Worden - he is a truly deserving winner of this prestigious award.

I was just wondering - how many people involved in the space program have been presented with moon rocks in recognition of their efforts and have any held onto them rather than give them to museums for display?

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 08-01-2009 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A supplemental question... what process/criteria determines WHEN and in what priority these are issued? Some of Apollo astronauts have waited an eternity it seems to receive their award.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 08-01-2009 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The moon rock is only presented in the recipient's name; the award cannot be retained by the individual to whom it is presented to, they must identify and make arrangements for a public and/or educational institution to place it on display.

The rock itself remains the property of NASA. If, for whatever reason, NASA deems it needs it back, it is their to take (though the agency says they would promptly replace it with another sample, as appropriate).

As for the order of the presentations, part of that hinges on the requirement of a suitable public display. There are rules and with them significant costs involved to qualify for custody of a moon rock. I have heard that at least one astronaut offered his moon rock to an institution that was not prepared to meet all the criteria and therefore had to decline the honor.

All times are CT (US)

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