In October, the Back to Space Ambassadors had the opportunity to meet Apollo astronaut Al Worden, who is working with Back to Space to inspire our generation to pursue STEM and reach for the stars!
Al Worden was born February 7, 1932 in Jackson, Michigan. Growing up, Worden worked on his family farm and was a Boy Scout, achieving the rank of First Class. He went on to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point and earn several degrees in Military Science, Engineering, and Science. Worden cross-commissioned into the United States Air Force, where he flew many types of jet aircraft, graduated Test Pilot School, and eventually earned the rank of Colonel.
Al Worden was selected to be part of the 5th group of NASA astronauts in April of 1966.
He was first a support crewman for Apollo 9, then a backup command module pilot for Apollo 12. After that, Worden was selected to be the command module pilot for Apollo 15. Today he is working with Back to Space to inspire our generation to get involved in STEM and space exploration!
Apollo 15 was the fourth manned lunar-landing mission and was the first to use the lunar roving vehicle. During the return trip on Apollo 15, Worden performed a 38-minute spacewalk outside the Endeavor command module. This space walk holds the record for the furthest deep-space EVA, apart from the moon landings themselves. During his EVA, Worden retrieved film from panoramic and mapping cameras that recorded about 25% of the moon’s surface.
Worden wants to inspire children to have a passion for space, so he wrote three books: Hello Earth! Greetings from Endeavor, a book of poetry about his flight; I Want to Know about a Flight to the Moon, a children’s book; and his autobiography Falling to Earth. In 1971, Worden was also on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and answered children’s questions about what space was like. Finally, he is a member of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which supports America’s next generation of STEM scholars. Al Worden has impacted countless lives through these efforts. Back to Space is honored to be able to work with and learn from this American hero.
Post by Christopher Franklin