Thursday, March 19, 2020

Al Worden: Belongs To The Ages 1932-2020

NASA Apollo 15 Astronaut

Al Worden


Belongs To The Ages

This is a story I have been planning on writing for a while, but when I discovered NASA Al Worden passed away yesterday at age 88, I thought now would be a good time. Al Worden was one of only 24 people who flew to the moon, which he orbited 74 times in the NASA Command Module Endeavor. Al Worden is now being added to the long list of Apollo Astronauts who wore a Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master as seen below on his wrist.

Al Worden as born Alfred Merrill Worden. Worden was an Air Force Test Pilot and an instructor at the Aerospace Research Pilots School located in Farnborough, England. Worden went o to serve as a pilot from 1957 to 1961 in the 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron headquartered at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. 

During his military flight career he logged more that 4,000 hours of flight time, which included 2,500 hours flying jets.

In the photo below we see Al Worden in 1968 at NASA's Langley Research Center located in Hampton, Virginia which is the oldest NASA field center, and notice he is wearing his Pepsi GMT-Master.

The photo above shows Al Worden in 1968 with fellow NASA Apollo Astronaut, Stuart Roosa, and notice on Al Worden's wrist we get a clear positive ID of his Oyster Bracelet. 



The NASA Apollo 15 Mission launched July 26, 1971 @ 13:34:00.6 UTC on a Saturn V AS-510 Rocket and flew to the Moon. Al Worden (center) was the Command Module Pilot, along with David Scott (left) and Lunar Module Pilot, James Irwin who is pictured on the right.

In the photo below we see the Apollo 15 launch vehicle as it is being rolled out to the launchpad Kennedy LC-39A.

In the photo below we see Irwin saluting the camera with the Lunar Rover Vehicle on the moon.

Apollo 15 was the first mission to the moon that used the Lunar Vehicle on the moon. This was an amazing feat as bring a car to the moon surface as part of the payload created a huge challenge. The Lunar Rover was was made by Boeing at a total cost of $40 Million and could be folded into a tiny footprint of 5feet by 20 inches (1.5 m by 0.5 m), and it only weighed 460 pounds (209 kg). The rover could carry two astronauts and could be driven at speeds up to 6 to 8 MPH (10 to 12 KM/H). The lunar rover was innovative as it allowed Astronauts to travel far afield from their lunar lander while being able to conduct scientific experiments.

The photo below taken on August 2, 1971 shows the Apollo 15 Command & Service Module in lunar orbit in a photo that was taken from the Apollo Lunar Module, Falcon.

Al Worden took the photo of earth during the translunar coast. The caption from this images states: 

"The view of Earth taken during the Translunar Coast from the distance of about 25.000 to 30.000 nautical miles from Earth. South America is to the left. Central America is in the upper center. The gulf of Mexico and Florida is seen to the lower right of Central America. North America is in the upper right. The north-west part of Africa is seen in the lower right."

 This photo reminds me of Carl Sagan's ultra profound Pale Blue Dot speech which can be seen below:

The Need For Speed

In the photo below we see Al Worden posing during a racing event at the Daytona International Raceway.

Below is a fascinating list of NASA Astronauts, Test Pilots and NASA Flight Directors I have discovered and documented wearing Rolex watches over the past dozen years:

Chuck Yeager of Edwards Air Force Base was first to break sound barrier in 1947 while wearing a Rolex Perpetual Oyster.

William Knight of Edwards Air Force Base Fastest manned flight of Mach 6.7 (4,250 Miles Per Hour ins X-15 which is nearly 7 times the speed of sound) in 1967.
John Glenn of Mercury 7. Wore a Pepsi and a yellow Gold Rolex GMT-Master.

Scott Carpenter of Mercury 7.

Walter Schirra of Mercury 8, Gemini 6A & Apollo 7. Wore a Pepsi GMT-Master.

Frank Borman of Gemini 7 and Apollo 8. Wore a Rolex Oyster Perpetual.

Pete Conrad of Gemini 5, Gemini 11, Apollo 12, Skylab 2.

Richard Gordon Jr. of Gemini 11 and Apollo 12.

Jack Swigert of Apollo 13 (Wore his Pepsi GMT-Master to Moon).

James Lovell was a U.S. Navy Test Pilot and went onto NASA to participate in Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8 & Apollo 13.

Stuart Roosa of Apollo 14 (Wore Pepsi GMT-Master to Moon).

Dr. Edgar Mitchell of Apollo 14 (Wore Pepsi GMT-Master to Moon).

Al Worden of Apollo 15 (Wore Pepsi GMT-Master).

Alan Shepard of Mercury 3 & Apollo 14 (Worn A Pepsi-GMT Master on Cape Canaveral & Possibly To The Moon).

Ronald Evans of Apollo 17 (Wore a Pepsi GMT-Master to Moon).

Eugene Cernan of Gemini 9A, Apollo 10 & Apollo 17 (Wore a Pepsi GMT-Master Outside Space Suit and Possibly To The Moon).

Lloyd Blaine Hammond of 1991 Space Shuttle. Discovery Mission STS-39, and 1994 Space Shuttle Discover STS-94.

Dr. Leroy Chaio (Wore Pepsi GMT-Master on 3 Space Shuttle Missions and while Commander of the International Space Station Expedition 10).

Christopher Kraft founding NASA flight director.

Michael Collins of Apollo 11 wore a Rolex Turn-O-Graph, as well as a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date.

Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11 wore a Rolex SEA-DWELLER.

Fred Haise of Apollo 13 as seen in this story wearing a yellow gold Rolex Datejust.

Albert Scott Crossfield who was an X-15 NASA spaceplane test pilot.