From the Harford County Public Library Foundation:
Meet the first person to conduct a deep space walk when Col. Al Worden, command module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission to the moon and the author of “Falling to Earth,” comes to Harford County for a benefit lecture and book signing on Thursday, June 14, at 7 p.m.
The event, a fundraiser for the Harford County Public Library Foundation, will be held at the Vandiver Inn, 301 South Union Avenue in Havre de Grace. The Headlining Sponsor is The Kelly Group. Tickets cost $50 per person for the lecture or $65 per person for a VIP ticket that includes a private reception with Col. Worden at 6:30 p.m. and reserved lecture seating. Tickets are available by calling 410-273-5600 or by visiting www.hcplonline.org.
The lecture is part of Journey Stories, a Smithsonian exhibit based at the Abingdon branch of the Harford County Public Library from May 19 to July 6 that examines the intersection between modes of travel and Americans’ desire to feel free to progress and flourish, voyage and explore. Various cultural opportunities in conjunction with Journey Stories are being held in library branches and activity centers across the county.
Col. Worden was one of three astronauts on the Apollo 15 mission that took place July 26 to August 7, 1971. It was the fourth manned lunar landing mission but the first to visit and explore the moon’s Hadley Rille and Apennene Mountains. Joining Col. Worden on the mission were Dave Scott, spacecraft commander, and Jim Irwin, lunar module commander.
While spending 38 minutes in extravehicular activity (EVA) outside the command module Endeavour, Col. Worden made three visits to the scientific instrument module bay, retrieving film cassettes from panoramic and mapping cameras. He also reported his observations of the condition of the equipment. While conducting the first deep space walk, Col. Worden became the first human ever to see both the Earth and the moon simply by turning his head. In all, Col. Worden spent 295 hours and 11 minutes in space.
“I realized I had a unique viewpoint: I could see the entire moon if I looked in one direction. Turning my head, I could see the entire Earth,” Col. Worden wrote in his autobiography published last year. “The view is impossible to see on Earth or on the moon. I had to be far enough away from both. In all of human history, no one had been able to see what I could just by turning my head. It was incredible.”
Apollo 15’s other achievements were significant. They included the largest payloads placed in Earth and lunar orbits; first scientific instrument module bay flown and operated on an Apollo spacecraft; longest lunar surface stay time (66 hours, 54 minutes); longest lunar surface EVA; longest distance traveled on the lunar surface; first use of lunar roving vehicle; first use of lunar surface navigation device; first subsatellite launched in lunar orbit; and first EVA from a command module during transearth coast.
Col. Worden is the author of “Falling to Earth,” published in 2011 by Smithsonian Books, that outlines his life from his boyhood days on a farm in Michigan to West Point to NASA to the postal covers scandal that had a dramatic affect on his life. Currently, Col. Worden is the chair of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
A book signing will be held after the lecture. Hardback copies of “Falling to Earth” will be available for purchase for $25 (cash, check, credit card) at the event.
Journey Stories is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Maryland Humanities Council. The Journey Stories exhibition and accompanying programs are offered to the public through a partnership between Harford County Public Library and the Harford County Department of Community Services.