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  11/3-4: Space Lectures Bruce McCandless (UK)

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Author Topic:   11/3-4: Space Lectures Bruce McCandless (UK)
Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 05-27-2017 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken Willoughby and Space Lectures are delighted to confirm that the next astronaut speaker coming to Pontefract this autumn is none other than Bruce McCandless II (Capt., USN, Ret.).

McCandless was the youngest member of NASA's Group 5 intake when selected in April 1966. He served as capcom on Apollo 11 during the first moonwalk before joining the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 14 mission, on which he doubled as a capcom.

Reassigned to the Skylab program, McCandless received his first crew assignment as backup pilot for the space station's first crewed mission alongside backup commander Rusty Schweickart and backup science pilot Story Musgrave. He again served as a capcom on Skylab 3 and Skylab 4.

McCandless was co-investigator on the M-509 astronaut maneuvering unit experiment, which was flown on Skylab; this eventually led to his collaboration on the development of the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) used during space shuttle extravehicular activities (EVAs). He flew two space shuttle missions: STS-41B and STS-31.

Details of the event are as follows:

  • Friday, 3 November 2017:
    Evening Dinner and Auction £110
    Wentbridge House Hotel
    Photo shoot: 18.00-18.45 £30 (payable on the day)
    Dinner 19.00-21.00
    Auction and autograph session

  • Saturday, 4 November 2017:
    Lecture £50
    Carleton Community High School "The Infinity Theatre"
    Doors open at 14.00
    Photo shoot: 14.45-15.45 (£30 payable on the day)
    Lecture 16.00-17.00
    Q&A session, approximately 15 to 20 minutes
    Autograph session
Those who had already ordered and paid for Alexei Leonov lecture tickets can have either a full refund, switch their Leonov ticket for the McCandless event and receive a £5 refund or switch their tickets and donate the outstanding balance to Space Lectures' chosen charities: UNICEF or the Fior Do Loto Foundation. Whichever course preferred please contact Ken Willoughby directly to confirm. Contact details are available on the Space Lectures website.

A big thank you to the many who have already switched their Leonov tickets: your continued support is much appreciated.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 05-29-2017 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Strong demand already for November's event. Regarding tickets, Ken tells me "I will have tickets printed soon and will post out."

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 05-31-2017 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken tells me that he will be re-issuing all new tickets for November's McCandless event.

Whether people are ordering tickets for their first Space Lectures event, or are switching their tickets from the cancelled Leonov event, everybody will be sent new tickets.

moorouge
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Posts: 2345
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 06-01-2017 03:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sure Ken would appreciate if everyone expecting re-issued tickets for the November event could send him a stamped addressed envelope. This would make life a lot easier for him. Mine is in the post.

AlpinaB10S
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Posts: 18
From: Sheffield, UK
Registered: Apr 2014

posted 06-01-2017 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AlpinaB10S   Click Here to Email AlpinaB10S     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Obviously it's a great pity that the event with Alexei Leonov has had to be cancelled, but yet again Space Lectures delivers what promises to be another excellent event.

I've transferred my ticket and the SAE will be in the mail tomorrow.

Looking forward to this one — whilst Bruce didn't fly on Apollo, he is still obviously of the Apollo era (and later of course) so this promises to be a good one (well they all are, but you know what I mean!).

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 06-06-2017 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken has advised me that McCandless tickets will start shipping out this week. Cheques for Leonov refunds or part refunds (for those who switched to McCandless) will be sent out at or about the same time. The cheques require two signatures and the second signatory is currently heavily involved with the UK General Election taking place on Thursday.

Ken would like to thank the many who to date, have very kindly asked that their partial refunds (for switching their Leonov tickets to Bruce McCandless) go to the charities supported by Space Lectures.

This has enabled Ken to send a cheque this week to the Fior Di Loto Foundation to the value of £240 with hopefully more to come.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 06-10-2017 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update from Ken for those awaiting full or partial refunds from the Leonov event.

Your cheques have been made out and signed by Ken. He is now awaiting the second signatory to counter sign them: they will be with you shortly.

The second signatory is a local councillor heavily involved in the general election.

Your patience is appreciated.

Rick Mulheirn
Member

Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 06-20-2017 06:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken informs me that all the Leonov refund, or partial refund cheques have now be counter signed and mailed out. Should your cheque fail to materialize in the next week to ten days... drop Ken a line and he will get right on it. Thank you for your patience.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 06-22-2017 04:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Delighted to see Alexei Leonov give a video message at Starmus; relieved that he appears to be on the mend. It is just such a shame he could not make it to the west in person.

Tickets for Bruce McCandles are selling well. For anybody thinking of attending the dinner, please mail Ken first to check availability before sending any payment.

The feedback we have had from Spacefest would suggest that Bruce is really looking forward to visiting Pontefract for the first time. "He has heard good things about Space Lectures"

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 06-29-2017 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Still no date for when the new Space Lectures patches will be available. I understand there is quality control work to be done, but it is hoped they will be on sale at the Bruce McCandless event in November, if not sooner.

In the mean time Julie is collating a list of interested parties and will e-mail when she has more news.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-02-2017 05:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anybody wishing to purchase tickets for the Bruce McCandless event in November, please phone Ken directly to enquire. Details can be found on the Space Lectures website.

Rick Mulheirn
Member

Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-19-2017 08:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am expecting more information on the Space Lecture's patch from Mrs OWL imminently. From all accounts we are a matter of weeks from the patch being available to purchase.

It is my uderstanding that the initial order will be limited perhaps to just 50 and it is still hoped that they will be with us in time for the Bruce McCandless event at the beginning of November.

gareth89
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Posts: 214
From: Ireland
Registered: May 2014

posted 09-19-2017 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gareth89   Click Here to Email gareth89     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Put me down for one when they're available Rick!

crash
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Posts: 272
From: West Sussex, England
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 09-19-2017 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for crash   Click Here to Email crash     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
...it is still hoped that they will be with us in time for the Bruce McCandless event at the beginning of November.
Oh, trust me they will! Me on the other hand, keep those fingers crossed...

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-19-2017 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you crash for the personal service regarding delivery of the patches.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-28-2017 04:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A little over a month now until Bruce McCandless lands in Pontefract. Everything is set and Ken Willoughby is "cooking on gas!"

Another fortnight and I would suggest those wishing to buy tickets for the dinner and/or the lecture pay Ken up front and arrange collection on the door. Just be sure to bring suitable ID.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 10-01-2017 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A message from Mrs OWL.
Good news! I should have my hands on the Space Lectures patches in time for the November event. I will be emailing everyone shortly who have pre-ordered. Note, I will not be taking anymore orders at this time but a limited number will be on sale at the McCandless event.

A big THANK YOU to Tim Gagnon, despite hurricane Harvey we got there in the end and to Paul (Crash) for your help sorting the delivery. You are a star!

moorouge
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Posts: 2345
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 10-03-2017 01:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sorry but having resisted temptation for two days, I can't hold out any longer.

I have to ask if one should be worried that the safe delivery of the patches is in the hands of a pilot whose call-sign is 'Crash'?

spaceman
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Posts: 1072
From: Walsall, West Midlands, UK
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 10-26-2017 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman   Click Here to Email spaceman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just over a week to go, will be here before we know it, looking forward to both great events.

crash
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Posts: 272
From: West Sussex, England
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 10-26-2017 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for crash   Click Here to Email crash     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ha! Crash by name, crash by nature!

Patches are safely tucked up in my study. Is there such a thing as a patch black market?

Tykeanaut
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Posts: 2143
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-03-2017 03:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alas, I shall not be there on this occasion. But thinking of you all at what I'm sure will be another outstanding Space Lectures event.

Kite
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Posts: 661
From: Northampton UK
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 11-03-2017 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thats a shame Chris, always look forward to seeing you and your charming wife at these events.

moorouge
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Posts: 2345
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 11-05-2017 02:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another superb Space Lectures event done and dusted. Bruce was in fine form and it was good to see all the usual suspects. We await Rick's detailed account with both interest and trepidation.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 11-05-2017 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken Willoughby has been bringing inspirational space pioneers to the UK for 12 years. They have one thing in common: each and every one has flown in space. So you could be forgiven for thinking that we had heard it all before: nothing that Bruce McCandless could possibly say would be "news." But it never ceases to amaze me how each speaker manages to bring with them a new insight and new perspective on events so familiar to us all. Bruce did not disappoint!

Bruce and his wife Ellen began their Space Lectures adventure following a brief European vacation that included 1,000 miles driving around the UK. During their time in Scotland Bruce made tentative enquiries in to his family genealogy. I'm not sure how much he learned but one wag in tartan did suggest, "If you want to learn more about the McCandless clan you should start your search at Glasgow prison!" So impressed were they by the beautiful scenery, historic sites and warm reception, both are determined to return for another vacation, and soon.

Whenever possible Space Lectures takes their astronaut guests to local schools: to inspire the children as we all have been inspired. On Friday morning, Oyster Park Primary School in Castleford rolled out the red carpet for the McCandless' and they could not have been more welcoming. The children had been studying space in preparation for Bruce's visit and they were a credit to the school.

Polite, quiet and diligent the children took notes and without exception raised an arm when invited to ask questions. The only squeaks and fidgeting came from the assembled teachers who were so enamoured by Bruce that they formed a posse around him during lunch, taking it in turn to ask questions and pose for pictures.

Al Worden has been quoted as saying that Ellen Shields McCandless, "Is the nicest person you could ever hope to meet," and he was right. Throughout the visit, nothing was too much trouble. Ellen even insisted on serving each of the Space Lectures team a side portion of Thornton's chocolates with their eggs, bacon and black pudding at breakfast. It made a nice change from ketchup!

Married for just 3 years, Ellen accompanied Bruce throughout, and it was endearing to see them together, a "newlywed" afterglow still evident.

Friday's dinner went well and Ken has asked me to thank everybody who came. A huge thank you also to those who so generously donated some unique auction pieces: Mike Constantine at Moonpans, Charlie Duke, Chris Spain and David Mather amongst others. And Helen Sharman has a fan in Bruce, too. He bid on and won a signed copy of Helen Sharman's book "Seize the Moment."

Following dinner the couple joined the team for a quiet drink. Inevitably Bruce was asked whether he would write an autobiography. "Not at the moment but it is something I would like to do," he answered. Bruce then turned the tables and asked the team, "If I were to write my story what title would you suggest?" — a question that soon had the room humming.

Two topics Bruce promised to cover should he write his memoirs were his visit to Europe (with a shout out to Space Lectures) and the sad demise of his great, great grandfather. Formerly a lawman from North Carolina and living in Nebraska at the time, he was shot in the back and killed by Wild Bill Hickok. Therein lies a chapter!

Over breakfast the next morning the team settled on the title "McCandless Untethered." A fitting choice of book title we thought with a suggestion of scandal (even if there were none) and a whiff of intrigue. With a title like that it has to be a best seller!



Saturday's lecture proved a treat. Bruce covered a myriad of topics and dealt with his own career for only a portion of the lecture. From selection as an astronaut and developing the Manned Manoeuvring Unit (that had had such a bad press following early Gemini incarnations) to the Apollo moon landings, the achievements of the shuttle program, the Hubble Space Telescope, Doppler shift, infrared astronomy, SpaceX and even unmanned probes.

NASA's job today Bruce insisted was to manage risk, take on research and deep space exploration leaving much of the near earth space program to the private sector: and to do so in the true Kennedy spirit, "not because it is easy but because it is hard."

The consensus at the signing that followed was that everybody had enjoyed an all — encompassing masterclass on the space program, past and present with a good dollop of the future thrown in for good measure.

Before heading off to the airport Bruce and Ellen were joined in the Green Room by Mark Craig, Director of the Gene Cernan movie, "The Last Man on the Moon." Naturally they chatted about Gene and the film: their mutual respect and admiration for a much loved and dearly missed friend was evident.

Ellen thanked Mark for giving Gene an added purpose that drove him on in the latter years while Mark confided that it was a privilege and a thrill to meet Bruce and Ellen.

And then, in the blink of an eye, Bruce and Ellen had gone and the team headed off to the pub for the usual "splashdown party." Bruce and Ellen had proven a revelation and waving them off was only made easier by the prospect of doing it all again with Rick Mastracchio in March 2018.

Naturally, Ken Willoughby and the Space Lectures team would like to thank Bruce and Ellen for coming. And it goes without saying that without the support of everybody that attended regulars and "newbies" alike, these events would not be possible. Despite the best efforts of OWL, Moorouge and crash I think it went well. When I know how much Space Lectures donated to our chosen charities I will add an update. In the meantime, roll on Rick!

Kite
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Posts: 661
From: Northampton UK
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 11-05-2017 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A great summing up Rick of yet another remarkable presentation at Pontefract. Captain McCandless gave a brilliant and arcticulate lecture and it was very well received by an enthusiastic audience. Even at their now advanced ages these legends time and time again are able to hold us all spellbound as they recall their own sparkling careers and their hopes and suggestions for space exploration of the future.

When I asked him a question about his time as the capcom on the first Moon walk he stressed that the world wanted to hear Neil and Buzz so he kept his talking to a minimum. Well played sir, and if only some of our sports commentators would take a leaf out of your book!

It was nice to get talking to some new faces as well as the familier ones and I discovered a couple of cS members who made interesting conversation on the value of these events and what they mean to us.

One slight criticism I have to make is would the compere please make the announcement of the next event earlier as by the time they had remembered many people who were not waiting for an autograph had already left. Apart from that the event was very well run so thanks again to Ken and his team for all their efforts to give us such a memorable day. Already looking forward to the next one in March.

18blue78
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Posts: 93
From: UK
Registered: Aug 2013

posted 11-06-2017 03:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 18blue78     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am glad I was able to attend the Saturday lecture. Bruce is a wonderful and insightful speaker and, as always, Ken and his team put on a great event. I'm already looking forward to March.

KSCartist
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Posts: 2824
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 11-06-2017 06:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was flattered to be asked to create the official Space Lectures patch and proud that it worked out so well.

I may not travel to all the places I want to visit but grateful my art does.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 3269
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-06-2017 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If he does write a book, I'd be interested to see his take on remaining (and flying as) a mission specialist even though he was selected as a pilot.

Aside from Griggs, pilots who flew as MSs eventually flew as PLTs, until toward the end of the shuttle program — and I'd wager, for different reasons than McCandless.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 3706
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 11-06-2017 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update. On the back of this event, Ken Willoughby and Space Lectures has donated a total of £1125 to UNICEF and £240 to The Fior Di Loto charity in India.

AlpinaB10S
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Posts: 18
From: Sheffield, UK
Registered: Apr 2014

posted 11-06-2017 01:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AlpinaB10S   Click Here to Email AlpinaB10S     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Once again, another excellent event hosted by the Space Lectures team.

I think that these events are always a little bit of an unknown, and I mean that in a positive way. You never know quite what to expect from the speaker, and they never fail to deliver a polished and interesting insight into the Apollo programme, or other aspects of spaceflight that are perhaps not known to the wider audience at large.

I was fortunate to be sat next to Kite and we had an interesting chat about these events and I second his comments on how we become transfixed at the stories and little nuggets if information.

These events are a glimpse into the recent past, and give us all an opportunity to experience what happened, how it happened and almost as if we were there. A very enjoyable afternoon out - must try to attend a dinner event one of these days!

Just need to find something to sew my new 'Space Lectures' patch on to now...

Thanks again to Ken and the team - here's looking forward to next March!

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