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  3/15: Walt Cunningham dinner and talk (Pontefract) (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   3/15: Walt Cunningham dinner and talk (Pontefract)
Tykeanaut
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From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
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posted 01-13-2013 04:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Come on troops! Let's make this a sell-out before the end of this month and get it in our diaries.

ApolloAlex
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posted 01-14-2013 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ApolloAlex   Click Here to Email ApolloAlex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am on the early shift that week so count me in, it was a shame the one back in 2011 was canceled.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-14-2013 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a very interesting half hour documentary about Apollo 7 that I have not seen previously.

As well as providing and excellent entree to the forthcoming Walt Cunningham event in Pontefract in March, it also includes footage of Walt donning his suit on-orbit; a subject raised on another Collectspace thread recently.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-18-2013 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All being well snow should not be a problem for Walt's visit in March!

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-22-2013 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The time is fast approaching when Ken will need to commit to Walt by paying a deposit for his trip. I think we are talking a week or two.

Ken is currently working on funding that would mean 200 to 250 tickets would cover the cost, as opposed to the 400 or so needed for Charlie Duke but to date only 77 tickets have been ordered.

Anybody sitting on the fence right now needs to get their ticket request in asap.

I know there are some who have suggested the time has come for Ken to pull the plug on these events.... for the good of his own health above anything else.

I think it likely that he will do just that if he does not get the support needed to bring Walt over; Ken is no spring chicken and it simply is not worth the stress.

Tykeanaut
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From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
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posted 01-23-2013 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where's all the folks who turned out to the Charlie Duke event gone?

crash
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From: West Sussex, England
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posted 01-23-2013 12:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for crash   Click Here to Email crash     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chris, it's odd, isn't it? I am spreading the word in a few places in an effort to get more ticket sales. The problem is that in my industry we don't generally know what we are doing in a month until a couple of weeks before it.

I am still surprised at the uptake countrywide. Where is everyone?

rgarner
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From: Liverpool, United Kingdom
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posted 01-23-2013 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rgarner   Click Here to Email rgarner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
I think it likely that he will do just that if he does not get the support needed to bring Walt over; Ken is no spring chicken and it simply is not worth the stress.
Looks like someone younger needs to take over. I'm 25. Anyone younger?

Nah, seriously though. It is good that this kind of thing occurs and it will be a shame if it stops. Someone will always pick up the torch and keep running with it.

Perhaps, given that these events are becoming hard to host, a review of the way they are conducted is in order. We know the cost of the Astronaut's won't go down, so we need alternative methods to bring in funding.

David Bryant
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posted 01-23-2013 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Bryant   Click Here to Email David Bryant     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can't believe everyone is being so ingenuous! We all know why people have been reticent about paying up-front...

This is NOT sour grapes (despite being banned from KW's events!) it's just a statement of fact. And the problem is, if this event is cancelled (again!!!) the chances of Autographica persuading Walt Cunningham over are significantly reduced.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-23-2013 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tykeanaut:
Where's all the folks who turned out to the Charlie Duke event gone?
That is the $64,000 dollar question. If everybody who attended the Charlie Duke event in October bought a ticket to meet Walt in March the event would be guaranteed.

rgarner
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From: Liverpool, United Kingdom
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posted 01-23-2013 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rgarner   Click Here to Email rgarner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Then what is different about the last event and this one? Aside from the astronaut in question. Maybe we can zero in on the problem?

Tykeanaut
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posted 01-24-2013 02:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not a moonwalker?

crash
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posted 01-24-2013 03:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for crash   Click Here to Email crash     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep! But his story is just as compelling.

David Bryant
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posted 01-24-2013 04:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Bryant   Click Here to Email David Bryant     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Talking to twelve of my customers about their reluctance to buy a ticket, they've all said the same thing: once bitten twice shy. Most of them lost money on hotel rooms (and in one case a train ticket!) when WC was cancelled last year. No mystery....

Tykeanaut
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posted 01-24-2013 04:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I understand that David. But it still doesn't fully explain why they perhaps showed up for the previous event?

David Bryant
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posted 01-24-2013 06:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Bryant   Click Here to Email David Bryant     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmmmm.... I guess it might be because Charlie was already in the UK (after Autographica) so people KNEW he'd turn up!

Tykeanaut
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posted 01-24-2013 06:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think it helps the cause when traders are banned from the events either.

OWL
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From: United Kingdom
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posted 01-24-2013 07:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OWL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
People are very quick to judge and critisise Ken's efforts. Let us not forget Ken has organised many successful events which are non profit making. Hundreds of school children have had the opportunity to meet our heroes.

Who else in the UK brings astronauts over for us all to meet, and provide school children with the chance to meet men who made history.

I feel that members should park their petty differences and get behind Ken to help bring the events to fruition.

johnpslater
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From: torquay
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posted 01-24-2013 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for johnpslater   Click Here to Email johnpslater     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I cannot believe we have let another chance of meeting an Apollo astronaut pass by! What is wrong with people? Surely there must be 400/500 in England alone who want to meet Walt!

robert_l
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posted 01-24-2013 09:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robert_l   Click Here to Email robert_l     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry to find out that this has been cancelled. I won't criticise Ken for trying to get astronauts to come over. I was really looking forward to meeting Walt.

crash
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From: West Sussex, England
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posted 01-24-2013 09:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for crash   Click Here to Email crash     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't understand people losing money on hotel rooms. There are alternative options; Wentbridge House Hotel has a no cost cancellation policy as does Premier Inn and Travelodge. I know because I have used their policies before. There are hotels in the area that offer peace of mind from any potential cancellation.

moorouge
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posted 01-24-2013 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by robert_l:
Sorry to find out that this has been cancelled. I won't criticise Ken for trying to get astronauts to come over. I was really looking forward to meeting Walt.

I don't think that this particular event has been cancelled. At least not yet. Rick's plea is for a few more people to buy tickets to ensure that it does take place.

David Bryant
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posted 01-24-2013 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Bryant   Click Here to Email David Bryant     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding accommodations: my understanding is that many of the hotels offer significant discounts if you book early: such offers stipulate no-refund on cancellation. I myself have often taken the risk on the assumption that a heavily publicised event (astronomy festivals, airshows, lectures, etc.) would go ahead, only to be disappointed later.
quote:
Originally posted by OWL:
Who else in the UK brings astronauts over for us all to meet, and provide school children with the chance to meet men who made history.
Autographica? They have always been the field leaders: just reflect on the astronauts they've brought across! Well over 30, including virtually all the Apollo guys who were prepared to travel.

fredtrav
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posted 01-24-2013 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The answer to the accommodations non-refundable part is simple. I have done it in the past with no trouble. Book a room at the least expensive refundable rate. When the event is confirmed and you know you can come, if the cheaper non-refundable rate is available, cancel the one with the refund and rebook at the less expensive non-refundable rate. This can still lose if the astronaut/guest speaker has to cancel at the last moment.

As a former travel agent I had booked quite a few rooms for clients traveling in the UK. It may have changed, but the difference between the lowest refundable rate and the non refundable rate is not that great.

One other suggestion to be passed to Ken is to arrange a group discount rate at one or two of the local hotels. Those are usually refundable, they give a group number and people book the rooms individually using that number (like Spacefest at Star Pass). This has worked for me in the past in the UK but things might have changed. Also Ken could possibly get some money from the hotel as a sponsor of the event.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-24-2013 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Bryant:
Autographica? They have always been the field leaders: just reflect on the astronauts they've brought across!
Unless I am mistaken, Autographica is a for-profit event with no educational outreach or non-profit activities.

That is not to say that Autographica is not a great event unto itself, but its purpose is to raise profits for the organizers and the celebrities who attend. They are not organized to bring speakers to school groups and communities.

(But this thread is not about comparing Ken's events to others, or discussing the merits of non-profit versus profit events.)

johnpslater
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From: torquay
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posted 01-24-2013 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for johnpslater   Click Here to Email johnpslater     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Unless I am mistaken, Autographica is a for-profit event with no educational outreach or non-profit activities.
Did you also know that 5% is donated to Unicef!

Tykeanaut
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posted 01-24-2013 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by OWL:
I feel that members should park their petty differences and get behind Ken to help bring the events to fruition.
I totally agree. My wife and I have supported and attended everyone of Ken's events since 2005. However, that should not mean immunity to constructive criticism, opinions and comments.

rgarner
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From: Liverpool, United Kingdom
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posted 01-24-2013 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rgarner   Click Here to Email rgarner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tykeanaut:
I don't think it helps the cause when traders are banned from the events either.
Can you please elaborate on that?

moorouge
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posted 01-24-2013 01:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think this is an occasion when one should remember what Robert Walpole said - "Let sleeping dogs lie."

It's all water under the bridge and an incident best forgotten.

rgarner
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posted 01-24-2013 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rgarner   Click Here to Email rgarner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sorry but 'traders' is a very broad term. I'm not asking about an incident, I'm asking about the term. What, in this instance, is a trader and why would one not want a trader present at a lecture?

OWL
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posted 01-24-2013 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OWL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There were three traders at the Charlie Duke event.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-24-2013 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The following is from an e-mail I received from Ken this evening.
Just got an e-mail from Walt. He needs to sort out his schedule and because of the poor response to ticket sales he has cancelled his visit. He hopes to arrange it another time?

How do I tell an Apollo Astronaut that no one is interested in meeting him?

For what its worth, 250 to 300 tickets would have been enough. Number sold to date: 77. I've just cancelled my hotel reservation; took 20 seconds and at no cost to myself.

rgarner
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posted 01-24-2013 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rgarner   Click Here to Email rgarner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Traders? As in...

johnpslater
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posted 01-24-2013 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for johnpslater   Click Here to Email johnpslater     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Bryant:
Autographica?
From what I understand, Ken could get the ones Autographica (both events are entirely different) could not but no one was prepared to pay to meet Armstrong and Jack Schmitt! I just don't know what to make of people on here who profess to be space buffs but won't pay to meet these unique people! They are not going to be around for many more years so we should grab these opportunity's whilst we can!

There have been lots of shuttle/space station astronauts but only 33 (I stand to be corrected) Apollo astronauts so we must support these events and meet them!

crash
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posted 01-24-2013 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for crash   Click Here to Email crash     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How do I tell an Apollo Astronaut that no one is interested in meeting him?
What a sad day! Not much else to say really.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-24-2013 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How do I tell an Apollo Astronaut that no one is interested in meeting him?
You don't, because that's a false statement. There were 77 tickets sold (to date); that's considerably more than "no one."

The failure here is Ken's (as nice a guy as he is). It is a flawed business model to rely on ticket sales for event expenses. Ticket sales should help recuperate costs, but shouldn't be providing the up-front funding.

At worst, the ticket sales from one event should be going toward the expense of the next one.

Where do the start-up funds come from then? Sponsors, personal investment and benefactors.

johnpslater
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From: torquay
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posted 01-24-2013 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for johnpslater   Click Here to Email johnpslater     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I can't speak for Ken but as far as I know any profit made from one event goes toward the next one. As you said in a previous post, no profit is made from these events, they are done to give the school children the chance to meet these guys for free. Given that and the fact that money is donated to Unicef, shouldn't we all be supporting these events?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-24-2013 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, we should all support them. But that doesn't mean the current business model is the best or only one available.

This isn't a criticism of Ken; he's done a very admirable job to date. But requiring a minimum number of ticket sales to guarantee an event going forward is less ideal than funding the events through other means and then using ticket sales (whatever ticket sales) to recuperate costs and start funding the next event.

moorouge
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posted 01-25-2013 01:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is getting worrying. Again, I have to agree with Robert. Hope it's not addictive.

topmiler
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From: eastleigh, hampshire, UK
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posted 01-25-2013 02:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for topmiler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So it's all off then, is it?


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