Apollo's most controversial mission
"NASA was very quick to throw us under the bus," says Apollo 15 astronaut Col. Al Worden.
July 27th, 2011
09:26 AM ET

Apollo's most controversial mission

Although Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden still feels that NASA treated him unfairly 40 years ago, he says he's now "back on par" with the space agency on this anniversary of his journey to the moon in July 1971.

Many have forgotten the so-called "covers" incident, which prompted many Americans to question the Apollo astronauts’ almost god-like status as national heroes.

"What has happened to the astronauts?" asked a New York Times headline at the time.

Worden, now 79, and his Apollo 15 crewmates David Scott and James Irwin suffered stinging NASA reprimands for bringing with them into space about 400 unauthorized postage-stamped envelopes (called first-day covers) with the intention of selling them later as souvenirs.

"It wasn't as bad as people thought. We didn't violate any regulations, we broke no rules," Worden said Tuesday from his home in Vero Beach, Florida.

An investigation into the incident revealed that previous Apollo astronauts had carried unauthorized memorabilia on board. But Worden and his fellow crew members bore the brunt of the backlash.

NASA "was very quick to throw us under the bus," said Worden. "They made an example of us."

Worden, an Air Force colonel, was dropped from the astronaut corps and reassigned to a NASA desk job - never to fly in space again. NASA's astronaut manager, Deke Slayton, called Worden on the phone to deliver the bad news.

"'The Air Force wants you back, that’s the good news,” Worden remembers Slayton telling him. “'The bad news is, you've got to be out of your office by next Monday.'"

NASA initially refused to return the envelopes to the astronauts, prompting Worden to sue the space agency. The case was settled out of court and the crew members got their envelopes back. "Once we had exposed the fact that they had violated our constitutional rights, then the game was all over at that point," he said. "They took our property and kept it without due process."

Worden and his colleagues changed their minds and chose not to accept thousands of dollars they had agreed to be paid for the souvenirs from a West German stamp dealer. But Worden did sell some of the envelopes years later, he said, to pay for campaign debts he incurred when he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the '80s.

"There probably are some things I would have done differently," Worden said Tuesday. "I probably wouldn't have been so naive when this whole thing was offered to us."

He said he and the other crew members were told that every Apollo crew had done the same thing.

"As a matter of fact, if you go on auction sites you'll see covers that were carried on Apollo 11 and all the other flights, and nobody ever made a fuss about them."

"I think everybody's forgotten about it ... and I'm sort of back on par with everybody." Lately Worden has been active at NASA functions and with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which funds college educations for science and technology students.

The "covers" controversy overshadowed Apollo 15’s successful and historic moon mission, which accomplished several firsts, including the first lunar rover vehicle and the first walk in deep space. Worden, who took that walk, remembers what it was like being suspended in space a record-setting 196,000 miles from Earth.

"The real difference is the view,” he said. “You can see both the Earth and the moon, which is a pretty unique position."

The crew overcame its share of mission glitches, including a loose umbilical plug between the lunar module and the command module, a water leak inside the astronaut cabin, and a failed parachute during re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.

Worden describes more about going to the moon and his fascinating career in his newly published autobiography, "Falling to Earth."

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Filed under: Hardware in Orbit • In Space • News • People in Orbit
soundoff (278 Responses)
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    August 4, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  4. Neil Baker722

    Apollo moon walks were hoaxes as were Gemini spacewalks, Hubble spacewalks and ISS spacewalks. You can know all spacewalks were hoaxes because you can know the spacesuits are hoaxes. In the near-fifty years of their alleged use, not a single spacesuit has ever been publicly demonstrated in a walk-in high vacuum chamber here on Earth. The preposterous and elusive spacesuit nickel porous plate ice sublimator cooling systems have never even been seen. Not a single textbook mentions sublimators despite their being one of the most exotic and interesting Mechancial Engineering inventions.
    Spacesuits could be tested and proven a hoax today but because Americans have mostly become highly conditioned slaves dependent on the system that enslaves them, they would rather fight to protect that system than dare reveal an emancipating TRUTH.
    The TRUTH will make you free but first it will make you miserable. Brace yourselves and dare be free!

    July 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Sad and Scary

      Where to start? Hmmm ... how about, You're a raving idiot? The spacesuits have been tested countless times in high vacuum chambers here on Earth during their development. In fact, there was a near-fatal accident where the tester's faceplate cracked or shattered. The only reason he survived was that a very quick-thinking technician bypassed the normal airlock door opening procedures, getting oxygen to the person before he asphyxiated.

      Your babbling about "preposterous and elusive spacesuit nickel porous plate ice sublimator cooling systems" is just that, babbling. Check out some of the U.S. Patents on sublimation cooling systems. Check out the Hamilton Standard life support system schematics. Take a physics or engineering course or two. MIT has OpenCourseware that costs nothing but your time and can provide you with a priceless gift – more knowledge than you have right now.

      Bit of trivia: There's a whole class of printers that use sublimation to get their ink onto paper – they're called – wait for it! Dye Sublimation Printers. They take solid chunks of ink (dye) and sublimate the ink directly from solid to gaseous without the intervening liquid state. For a while there, dye-sub printers were all the rage, especially for speed and color accuracy.
      Apollo moon walks were hoaxes as were Gemini spacewalks, Hubble spacewalks and ISS spacewalks. You can know all spacewalks were hoaxes because you can know the spacesuits are hoaxes. In the near-fifty years of their alleged use, not a single spacesuit has ever been publicly demonstrated in a walk-in high vacuum chamber here on Earth. The preposterous and elusive spacesuit nickel porous plate ice sublimator cooling systems have never even been seen. Not a single textbook mentions sublimators despite their being one of the most exotic and interesting Mechancial Engineering inventions.
      Spacesuits could be tested and proven a hoax today but because Americans have mostly become highly conditioned slaves dependent on the system that enslaves them, they would rather fight to protect that system than dare reveal an emancipating TRUTH.
      The TRUTH will make you free but first it will make you miserable. Brace yourselves and dare be free!

      July 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
      • Sad and Scary

        *sigh* Ignore the copy & pasting I did in my reply above. I wanted to be able to read what I was replying to and forgot to delete it before I hit "Post." My bad.

        July 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
      • Neil Baker722

        If they have been tested countless times in the near-fifty years of their alleged use, they've NEVER been publicly demonstrated in a high vacuum chamber here on Earth. It's not too late.
        United Technologie's Hamilton Sunstrand will share nothing but the most elementary information about their ice subliimators. I know; I've communicated with them. I've seen the patent drawings and the schematics you mention. I'm looking for photographs, video and documentation of one working under real orbital conditions in a high vacuum chamber. Like I've correctly claimed and your argument supports, one hasn't even been seen.
        Your feeble strawman argument with a description of a sublimation printer implies that I don't believe in the concept of sublimation. I understand the existence of sublimation and understand why NASA would concoct the necessity of sublimators for cooling in vacuum. My point is that in the near fifty-years of their alleged use, not one has been seen, photographed or videotaped. Sublimators are not mentioned in a single textbook even though they represent a combined fluid flow and thermodynamics problem that should be highly attractive to any Mechanical Engineer.
        The Kinetic Particle Theory of Pressure explains why a spacesuit pressurized at 5psi within an oribital high vacuum of near 0psi (1e-6torr) would burst. A spacesuit is not necessary for performing the test. With access to a high vacuum pump, one could test a membrane of over-engineered layered cloth and mesh material with 5psi on one side and 1e-6torr on the other. The membrane will burst just as the spacesuits in the same environment would burst. Many universities, national labs and corporations have been challenged to perform this simple experiment and all refuse. A common technique in support of the hoax is to demonstrate a spacesuit glove at atmospheric pressure within a chamber pumped down to 10psi to allegedly mimic the space conditions of gloves pressurized at 5psi within vacuum near 0psi. The Kinetic Particle Theory of Pressure explains why these two conditions are totallly differenct and why one condition results in the glove bursting.
        The spacesuits can be proven a hoax today here on the surface of the Earth.
        The reason spacesuits and their sublimator cooling systems have never been publicly demonstrated is because they are hoaxes as is the International Space Station, moonwalks and Gemini space walks.
        The TRUTH will make you free, but first it will make you miserable. -Soren Kierkegaard
        In a time of universal deceit, telling the TRUTH is a revolutionary act. -George Orwell

        July 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Gerry

      Do you realize that every U-2 and SR-71 pilot wears a spacesuit for the past 50 years???
      Take a look of the Youtube film of Joseph Kittenger skydiving from a balloon at 102,000ft in a SPACESUIT.

      You are either trolling or never paid attention in school....

      July 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
      • john

        Paid attention in school? I don't think he went to school.

        August 1, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • kardiac

      Please adjust your tinfoil hat the reception seems a bit fuzzy.

      July 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • john

      I know of doctor that might be able to help you, but it will cost you. If you can't afford it, I suggest just getting out of your cave once in a while.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Tripp

      Neil, You are a lunatic. Your science is sloppy, you have no facts to back up anything you state, and you wreak of a simple mind that makes a religious fundie look like Einstein.

      August 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Jay Link

      I've seen spacesuits used in underwater practice missions. They must be fairly airtight!

      I agree, though: NASA is not as altruistic as they may first appear to be, so keep digging.

      October 6, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  5. Bugs

    Fact is, I don't remember anything about the stamp controversy. I do remember the first lunar rover, though.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  6. Bill

    Rules. He broke the rules. That was important 40 years ago. Not so important today, but it was how we became the greatest nation in the world. Making rules and following them. He didn't select himself as an astronaut. He followed the rules that were necessary to become an astronaut, but then he decided to make up his own rules. And, he got caught. Save your tears for folks who suffer adversity even though they try to follow the rules.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • whatguy

      You have a good point except for that whole quote from the story that says, "didn't violate any regulations, we broke no rules."
      unauthorized and forbidden are 2 different things. Since I didn't ask anyone if I could post this on my free time, it is unauthorized, however as there are no regulations against my posting here on my computer in my free time, my unauthorized act isn't breaking any regulations or rules.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Trippp

      You did not read the story. He did NOT break any "rules".

      July 28, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • wilburf

      Thank you. Rarely on a 'blog' is truth said so clearly. Thank you.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  7. freddo

    To liame16 and his comment below: Has any President ever paid for their vacations, have they paid to fly all over the country fund raising and campaigning – No. They use government assets (Air Force One and Marine One) for personal gain. Did Pelosi pay for that private jet use – No, we did. Get over your high and mighty self this is what the government does from the left as well as the right. They are all crooks and look out for themselves. At least someone who actually risked their lives almost benefitted instead of the cowards in Washington who always do.


    Wow this is great! So your point is that I can use my government issued car and do personal errands with it while filling it with gas that is payed with taxpayers money?

    I mean since you said and believe that any government official or employee is like "any other citizen" and is, like, exempt of any ethical responsibility I can drive the government car for personal use and rip off the government for my personal benefits and gains.


    Way to go Draeggo. You are an inspiration!

    July 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Aaron

      Is America that stupid in believing NASA. When even the worlds scientist community confirm that it is impossible
      for any human to withstand radiation level of any moon landing attempt. This the biggest fake in history and theft
      taxpayers money. Everyone of you have been trained at such young age it’s sad to see. Brainwashed.

      July 28, 2011 at 7:21 am |
      • Trippp

        You are a true idiot. The LRO proved we landed on the moon, not that any SANE person had to prove it, but all the hardware is there along with the FOOTPRINTS and other marks left by the rover. YOu are a moron.

        July 28, 2011 at 7:45 am |
      • Frehar

        Oh geeze, it's one of those.

        July 28, 2011 at 7:53 am |
      • Skipdallas

        Hey Aaron, I think your tin-foil hat must be to tight! It seems to be cutting off the blood to your brain.

        July 28, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Jay Link

      I realize you're being a smart a**, but I can confirm that several State of Illinois workers, for example, use public resources for private gain, including cars and credit cards. So yes, it's easily possible - at least with some agencies.

      October 6, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  8. Ron Hyatt

    This is just another example that Government Is Not Your Friend. Never has been, never will be. I don't understand all the libtards who desperately wish this to be so. And if you're stupid enough to work for the Government of your on accord, well, you get what you deserve.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Trippp

      I am a liberal and I DONT beleive the government is on my side and I dont trust them. But, I also dont trust people who beleive in a fictitious god and want or are trying to force people to live under biblical law. Can you say Republican? I have to take the lesser of the two evils. One one side you have moronic fundimentalist and the other government intervention. And I think the latter is not as bad as you descibe. Republicans love to live on and spread FEAR to its people and I see you are a fearfull person cowering in your corner over dumb and stupid lies that your republican cohorts spread.

      July 28, 2011 at 7:53 am |
    • Jorge

      I'm stupid enough to work for the 'gummint', and make a good living at it. LOL

      July 28, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • patriotmike

      If you don't like government, move to Somalia where they don't have one.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • JeramieH

      Yeah, trust corporations instead.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  9. Mark McKee

    Strange. Apollo 11 landed on the moon, on my 11th birthday. I was a huge NASA freak when I was a kid. I could tell you what every acronym stood for, name every astronaut and their wives, and I don't remember this controversy at all. Sounds like NASA "screwed the pooch" with the old PR department. I really don't feel comfortable slamming NASA, however, since they were so considerate with my needs as a child, timing the moon landing to coincide with my 11th birthday and later, when I graduated high school in a tiny village in New Mexico, with my 16 other classmates, I received my diploma from Harrison "Jack" Schmidt, the last man to set foot on the moon. NASA has been belly, belly good to me!

    July 27, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • nothanksimdriving123

      Mark, I share many of your feelings about Apollo and the space program, but for the record, Jack Schmitt was the second to last man to walk on the moon to date. His Apollo 17 crewmate Gene Cernan took those final steps, writing his daughter's initials in the lunar surface before climbing the ladder back into the Lunar Module after their third EVA. Sorry.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:01 am |
      • Hugh

        Gene Cernan was the 11th person to step foot on the Moon, Schmitt was the 12th. Schmitt reentered the LEM first, leaving Cernan to be the last man on the moon, but the poster was correct, Schmitt was the last man to step foot onto the moon.

        July 28, 2011 at 5:41 am |
  10. ngc1300

    Todd-as I posted earlier, and as others have said, there are pictures of the LEM descent stages, experiment packages like ALSEP, the trails left in the dust made by the astronauts themselves-all taken recently by LRO, and available for you
    > Todd<, to view on NASA's website. Just look under LRO. Of course I'm sure they were Photoshopped just to fool you.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • bob

      You can never have the "right" proof, or proof that cannot be explained away, to satisfy a conspiracy theorist. It is better to save your time.

      July 27, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  11. Lorenzo

    It's almost humorous how innocent some of America's "scandals" were back in the '70s compared with the grave problems the country faces today, not to mention the increasing wackiness of our scandals. Oh, heavens, an astronaut tried to profit on some souvenirs! If I recall, a few years ago we had an astronaut who wore adult diapers on a drive to kill a romantic rival.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  12. bob

    When I was a teenager, I read avidly about the Apollo missions, or so I thought. But as far as I know, this is the first I've ever heard of this. Is this well known lore ?

    July 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Skipdallas

      Yeah Bob, This was reported gleefully at the time. Then as now, the News Media jumped on Anything that even remotely hinted at scandal. Personally, I thought it was blown way out of proportion.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  13. brad1001

    Are there any photos taken from earth based telescopes / cameras of the stuff left on the moon? I'd like to see that.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Erik

      Earth-based telescopes don't have the resolution to photograph things as small as the LEM, not even Hubble can. But probes orbiting the Moon, such as India's Chandrayaan-1 have taken such pictures. Some are available on the Internet.

      July 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • ben

      you one of those kooks that think we didn't go to the moon aren't you?

      July 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • JeramieH

      If you don't believe NASA images, why would you believe that images from Earth-based telescopes haven't been doctored?

      July 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  14. FU

    NASA actually stands for Nice Another Stick up their Ass...not a lot of people know that...

    July 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Randy

      But now eveyone knows you are a dumba$$

      July 28, 2011 at 9:48 am |
      • Skipdallas


        July 28, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  15. DocParadox

    NASA gets less of the Federal budget (avg. 0.60 of 1%) than Pakistan, Israel and most of the middle East does every year. We give more money to America Hating countries than we do our own Space Program.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Ca Ed

      And what space program would that be?

      The Chinese are gearing up for a manned mission to the moon (I wonder what they would do that for?) and building a blue water navy (their announced reason is to project and protect their interest around the Pacific Rim and to moderate the US influence there).

      Adding insult to injury, we have to rent space aboard a Russian rocket to get back to the INTERNATIONAL Space Station.

      Obama and Congress think that cutting the money spent for NASA is a savings; in reality the US has given up its leadership role and the US is truly becoming a 2nd rate world power.

      July 27, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
      • mickey1313

        agreed, we are not the laughing stock of the scientific comunity.

        July 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
      • Nick

        Not that I'm a huge Obama fan but for the record. Bush cancelled the Space Shuttle Program. If you are going to slam somebody, slam them with something they deserve to be slammed for.

        July 28, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Ed N

      Ain't that the truth!....
      You want to fix our budget mess?
      Stop foreign aid!!!

      July 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
      • stuart

        stop foreign aid to fix your problems ?

        Don't you know the size of the current fiscal problem and the size of your aid budget ? You'll have to look at your social security and defense budgets for significant savings.

        July 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  16. Andrew

    1) Conspiracy theorists really are true idiots.
    2) To anyone who cares about the space, and scientific research, spread the word to as many people as you can, SAVE THE JAMES WEBB TELESCOPE!

    July 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  17. Gerica

    WFO – Well said, my friend!! I couldn't have said it better!

    Sad and Scary – you too!

    Another thing for everyone to remember. I always hear that Apollo was a waste of money and that the $25 Billion would have been better spend here on earth! Well, where do you think it was spent? It went right back into the American economy – from the engineers buying homes for their families, to the old ladies who hand-sewed the space suits buying TV sets and new toys for their grandkids. Not to mention all the technology that came out of the space program that has made our modern electronic world possible.

    July 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  18. DocParadox

    You conspiracy nutbags who claim we never went to the moon are, WITHOUT A DOUBT, the dumbest people on the planet, BAR NONE.

    July 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • mickey1313

      i dont buy this conspearicy, but, when the government gives you no reason to trust them, then why take there word for AYNTHING?

      July 27, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  19. Robert - Atlanta

    MORONS – you read these comments and think – NO ONE COULD BE THAT STUPID – But they are! They listen to Rush, watch Glen Beck and hate everything and everybody. These are the best and brightest the GOP depends on to vote republican every election! They are ‘Baggers and Palin followers, FairTax Scammers and Dr. Ryan’s half-ass libertarians. MORONS!

    July 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • JT Hawaii

      Touche Robert from Atlanta. My thoughts exactly.

      July 27, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  20. Tim W.

    Not one cent was ever spent in space.....every penny was spent right here on earth. Companies from 48 states and from around the world has people working on projects for NASA. Hundreds of thousands of people have had jobs working on NASA projects, earning a living and paying taxes. Less then 1% of the federal budget goes to NASA and that has all been spent right here on earth ! There has been many tools and equipment made for NASA that has ended up in everyday civilian use today ! NASA has never been a waste of tax payers money !

    July 27, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Nigel

      I agree, the money spent on the space program went to American people by and large. We did benefit from this research, and although several Astronauts were killed in the programs, but it was a peaceful endeavor. The money sewer wars we're fighting now are a waste because when you fire a $150,00o artillery shell (the new high precision ones), all you get is a big bang and your money is destroyed. What the heck does that do for me?

      July 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Beth in Austin

      Correct, all the money was and is spent right here on earth, by the earthlings, for the earthlings. The NASA budget is a TINY SLIVER of US GDA. Check it out!


      July 28, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  21. Lou50

    I forgot but Walley or one of the early astronauts stopped by the Moon Hut in Cape Canaveral and got a sandwich to go that he ate in space since he didn't like the baby food back then. they gave him a lot of grief, but this may be the indicator that American fabric was unraveling when it was done for profit.

    July 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • mickey1313

      when has america had strong moral fiber?

      July 27, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Beth in Austin

      That was John Young on Gemini 3, with Gus Grissom. John smuggled a corned beef sandwich. He claimed that he got in trouble with Gus because there was no mustard on the sandwich! hahaha

      July 28, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  22. jkINC

    People make dumb decisions, even leaders at NASA. This is such a non-issue it's laughable and does nothing to reduce the pride and admiration I have for our Astronauts, then and now. By the way, are there any envelopes left? Maybe they could be sold on Ebay to reduce the national debt.

    July 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • AGuest9

      It may seem like a non-issue to most people, but government positions are Public Trust positions. A federal employee is expected to be beyond incrimination. I'm talking civilians, like NASA employees, and military, not politicians.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  23. Cecil D. Gwyn

    I was a rising senior in highschool when Apollo 15 made its epic flight. I am glad that forgiveness is still alive and well. Athough profiteering may have been their initial objective in taking the 400 envelops to the lunar surface and back, IMO Al Worden and the Apollo 15 crew could have been dealt with by NASA in a much less beligerant manner. These men risked their lives and the life of the Apollo program, and successfully completed a rendevous, a landing, 3 days of lunar excursions in a rover that had never been in the lunar environment, a liftoff from the moon, a rendevous with the comannd module, and a safe return to earth. Traveling 240,000 miles away from everything that they ever knew and cared about; not to mention returning safely, merited a bit more consideration from then NASA officials than the "knee jerk" reaction the Apollo 15 crew received. IMO Al Worden should never have been "grounded" for something so frivolous. He could very well have commanded a later lunar mission or a space shuttle mission. He and Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter are the only astronauts that I know of to ever have their "wings clipped" by NASA for some "perceived transgression" against the agency. Fortunately, both men found the character to forgive and move on. Most of the folks who did them in are either too old to care now, or are already sleeping in their graves anyway.

    July 27, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  24. JT

    Did Apollo 18 thru 20 exist?

    July 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Mike

      They were planned, but canceled due to budget cuts. Apollo 17 was the last funded flight.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Ken

      No, they stopped at 17. After Apollo 13, people started to question going back to the moon again and again. We made it to the moon, so mission accomplished sort of thing. I think they had 10 moon landing planned.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
      • Orion

        So if people got tired of Apollo moon program back in 60-70s and Shuttle program just ended – why's NASA still getting any funding for the new Orion program ? just to repeat the Apollo & Shuttle missions ?

        July 28, 2011 at 2:17 am |
      • Tripp

        So Orion.....In with your logic, why would any of the explorers from Columbus to Megelan want to explore any more of the Earth back in their day? They knew pretty much what was already there. You have the curiosity of a slug and people like you would have been eaten by other animals because you have no clue, no ability to learn, and no curiousity. That is if you had lived 10,000 years ago. Thats what I hate about modern society, no thining of the heard due to stupidity.

        July 30, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Polymath

      One of the Saturn V rockets was modified to put Skylab in orbit. The command-service modules were reassigned to the manned missions to Skylab and for the Apollo/Soyuz detente publicity stunt. Those were launched on Saturn IB boosters rather than the Saturn V rockets they originally were to ride on. The extra Lunar Modules and Saturn V rockets would up in museums.

      July 28, 2011 at 3:20 am |
  25. Joe

    So this whole article was an ad for the Colonel's upcoming book? So glad CNN hasn't lost its journalistic integrity.

    July 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  26. jim

    He's lucky they didn't throw his worthless a$$ out of the Air Force altogether!

    July 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • haloguy628

      Worthless? What have YOU done for the human kind mr idiot? Look at your worthless life before spewing bile about somebody else.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
      • hreth


        July 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Jorge

      Worthless??? I suppose then that YOU are the James Bond of Air Force pilots and spacecraft crew, willing to risk life and limb time and time again on missions for which their is absolutely no guarantee of a safe return. No??? What a wag.

      July 28, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  27. Todd

    Apollo's most controversial mission.....all of them.....prove to me that they actually went. With the advances in technology since they last "went", why have they not gone back? The Hubble Telescope can see new galaxies, but they can't point it at the moon to prove they were there by showing everyone the leftover pieces.....come on.....

    July 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Ken

      Drink the Kool Aid, Todd. Please.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • James

      Why should they? Even if they did it, we would just get a bunch of people on the internet telling us that these new photos are faked.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Todd

      Come on....you guys believe this actually happened?

      July 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
      • f

        @TODD – I bet you don't believe in God either.

        July 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
      • Chris in NC

        I know. It's really tough for the Tweet and IPOD generation to believe we designed and operated these craft with slide rules and computers with less meory capacity than a modern thumb-drive. I actually had a young engineering colleague say he could not see how we designed these without modern computers. Of course, it was the Space Race that gave us many of the foundational tools for the little plastic toys that seem to so enthrall the "Tweeties." What the real shame is, is that we have not accomplished Stanley Kubrick's 2001 Space Odyssy [dream], which from the perspective of 1969, seemed darned feasible. Instead, we have IPODS and Cubes, flip phones and jerkoff texters on the highways.

        July 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
      • John

        @f: you believe in God (where there is not a shred of evidence) and you don't believe Obama was born in the US (where there is all the evidence in the world)? In addition to the obvious conclusion that you are a moron, you've given me more evidence that right winger Christians are closeted racists. Thank you for the reaffirming the sad truth.

        July 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
      • Polymath

        Hey, I was 11 miles away when Apolla 11 went up and the earth shook like an earthquake. I was in the VIP stands when Apolla 13 went up (courtesy Boy Scouts of America both times) and those five F1 engines almost knocked me down and deafened me at 3 miles away.

        But it is valid to ask, "If we did it then, why can't we do it now?" We could do it now if we wanted to pay for it. At that time the NASA budget was over 4% of the federal budget and it all went to Apollo. We felt incredibly threatened of the USSR defeating us through its scientific prowess. Today NASA gets less than 1% of the budget and those funds are spread throughout numerous other programs.

        It is not unusual for civilization to make great leaps and then fall behind. The Phonecians built a small Suez canal around 500 B.C. It clogged with sediment and the next canal was built 2400 years later. The Romans built the Pantheon c. 100 A.D. Another dome of that size was not built until c. 1500 A.D. by Boticelli in Florence; another concrete dome of that size was not built until the early 20th century. The Phonecians circumnavigated Africa c. 500 B.C.; a feat not repeated for over 2000 years. Buildings the mass of the Great Pyramid were not repeated for milinnea. People of the Dark ages wandered the ruins of the Roman Forum completely perplexed as to how the ancients could have had the knowledge to have constructed such structures when they, their decsendants had not the knowledge or math skills to construct more than tiny buildings. The Greeks of antiquity calculated Earth's diameter as a heliocentric sphere, yet two millinea later it was all Coulmbus could do to convince Ferdinand and Isabella that it wasn't flat and that he could sail east and circumnavigate the globe (and not have their ships eaten by sea monsters). That feat fell to Magellan in 1517, and was not repeated until Francis Drake did so eluding the Spanish around 1570.

        So really, the leap we took in reaching the moon is not out of the historical norm. Sometimes we humans make a great leap for mankind, only to slide right back to where we were beforehand.

        July 28, 2011 at 4:07 am |
      • Trippp

        @f...What the? I dont beleive in god but yet I do beleive men went to and landed on the moon. I dont see how a fictitious god has any bearing if you think we did or did not go to the moon.

        July 28, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Alphabob

      As a boy scout living in Huntsville Alabama (home of the space program during Apollo), I had the great fortune to visit a Amateur Radio operator who was involved with Earth-Mood-Earth communication (bouncing signals off the moon and receiving them back on earth). He had an absolutely enormous dish he had trucked in as surplus from NASA sitting in his farm yard. This was before computers (at least for normal humans), and tracking the dish required adjusting controls by hand. We actually listened during one of the moon missions. I know for a fact that it was on the moon because I was one of the people constantly adjusting the controls to keep the dish centered on the part of the moon they were visiting at the time. If the controls were not adjusted constantly, the signal would fade away within a few seconds.

      The Hubble was not designed to focus on objects close to earth orbit, like the moon. However, people do bounce lasers off the mirrors left behind all the time.

      Believe what you want, but ignore the evidence at a fool's peril. Tens of thousands of people that worked on the mission as well as other non-involved observers like myself know it happened as described, and that is all that matters.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Dan M

      What the hell is wrong with people? Are they really that stupid to think we never went to the moon?

      Not only have we gone to the Moon we have vehicles on the Moon..3 Electric Vehicles/Lunar Rover/ Moon Buggys whatever you want to call them

      The 1970's going to the Moon was no longer a big deal (it was a big deal ..just had become we did it already whats next)..it was normal just as the Shuttle Program and space station is today..

      July 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
      • Todd

        Then why are there no pictures of them today that NASA can show everyone. All it would take would be to show them and people may think differently.....but after this long....it would be a hard sell...

        July 27, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
      • Tiger

        What the heck are you talking about? Just google Moon landing rover or something and tons of pictures pop up. But then again non believers such as yourself just go and try to discredit the photos as fake anyway, complaining about how shadows are not behaving right and no stars in the black sky and all has been explained away yet you STILL wont believe. So why should we try to prove anything to you? I'd bet even if we shuttled your ass up there you'd still won't believe purely because you're an idiot.

        July 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
      • Todd

        You are a Tiger aren't you....nice

        July 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
      • f

        @TODD – Can you please show me a real original paper raised seal copy of Obama's AMERICAN birth certificate ?? I didn't think so.

        July 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
      • Dan B

        There really are no stars in any pictures, videos, etc... Stars just don't dissappear, there clearly should have been stars in the background of the moon photos and behind earth. I dpn't trust in the US government one bit because history has shown, if one does just minimal research, that the US government has been a proffesional cover up artist for decades. See JFK, Pearl Harbor, 9/11

        July 28, 2011 at 6:08 am |
      • J

        Dan, I hope you're trolling, but if you're not please let me enlighten you about the stars. You don't see them in the pictures because the film wasn't exposed enough – the sun and Earth were too bright, so to make sure the pictures came out properly the exposure was shortened, and the relatively dim light of the stars can't be seen.

        If you're really one of those kooks who believes every conspiracy that comes your way, I truly pity you. What a terrible, paranoid life you must lead.

        July 30, 2011 at 2:30 am |
      • Tripp

        Oh DanB.... YOu have no clue. I have been a photographer all my life and not using those cheap digital cameras either–Im talking about the old Nikons, Olympus OM-1, Pentax, Minolta and older large formate cameras–ya know, FILM?, but I can explain it all to you. THere is a thing called "exposure or exposure time and f-stop or how much light the aperture lets in and ASA of the film or its sensitivity". When the forground is brighter than the background it will under-expose the background. Try it sometime with one of your cameras that have a manual override exposure system. You will ge tthe same results. Or block the sensor with a peice of tape while takeing a pic on one of your auto cameras–same thing. When you look at a full moon through a telescope you also have to use a filter because the moon is reflecting all the sun light bouncing off its surface. So that will give you an idea how bright that envirenment on the moon really is. I really cant beleive that you are that stupid but yet you and other NUTS continue to post rubbish that man has never gone to the moon even though the evidence is overwhelming. You a true NUTCASE. Im getting tired of explaining and debating stupid poeple as I bet are the Scientific community.

        July 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Todd

      I am always amazed at how people regard the waste of tax payers money that NASA is....always trying to justify everything about them....

      July 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
      • Chris in NC

        People who think the Space Race was a waste of taxpayer money are simply small-minded fools – the same crowd that scoffed the likes of Columbus, Magellan, and Amerigo Vaspucci for testing the popular theory of the Flat Planet. They should do their homework and see the tremendously criminal level of mismanagement of our tax dollars that is taking place today.

        July 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • Mike Sterling

        Go to the Kennedy space center's Apollo museum and then you will understand those missions were worth every last cent. They helped the world to see America's brilliance and drained the USSR of their clout. The technologies invented by the program have easily paid for themselves and you have benefitted from many of them whether you realize it or not.

        July 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
      • Todd

        I wonder why no other country in the entire world beside the U.S. has ever sent a human being to the moon? Only robotic probes....

        July 27, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
      • SciGuy73

        Ok Todd the troll, pay attention. I'll only say this once. Hubble isn't powerful enough to resolve 15 foot wide objects from 250,000 miles away. No telescope on or near Earth can do so. But cameras in lunar orbit can, and have. LRO and an Indian sattelite in Lunar orbit have both taken pictures of every lunar site, including astronaut tracks. Google it. And in case you didn't realize, the Russians and the US were in a RACE to the Moon, for national prestige. They were watching everything we did. They were listening to our Moon missions. Don't you think if our guys weren't actually there, the Russians would have been shouting it from the rooftops? Now go away.

        July 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
      • Jorge

        Folks who think that the moon landings never happened could probably never get a paper airplane to fly when they were kids, stunk at shop class in high school, can't jump start a car without setting it on fire to save their lives and carry barf bags on the subway.

        July 28, 2011 at 8:28 am |
      • Trippp

        @Todd...NASA's budget is only about 1% of the total US expenditures or about 4 billion a year. And without NASA you wouldnt have about 98% of the technology you are taking advantage right now. You are an idiot.

        July 28, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Calm Dog

      Whoa. You want them to spend millions of MY taxpayer money to adjust the Hubble telescope just to prove to YOUR ass something that everyone else already knows? Right. I don't give a damn what you believe. Next.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Tiger

      Pretty sure because Hubble is a DEEP SPACE telescope. It's designed to look FAR FAR FAR into the distance. It's focal point isn't calibrated to look at the moon. If you did you'd probably end up with giant blocky pixels.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
      • Snaga


        August 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • DrDiomedes

      Are you a creationist, too? ... moron

      July 27, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Todd

      Funny how one comment about "Faking It" and everyone comes out of the woodwork....

      July 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
      • Duckeye

        That's because when people see an idiot like yourself standing naked on the highway waving his penis at traffic, we just HAVE to come out to point and make fun.

        July 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
      • Todd

        Oh Duckeye....classic

        July 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Todd

      I know there are many others that share the same feeling but I guess they don't want to make it known....

      July 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
      • Dwight

        Yeah well don't count me as one of those people who share your feelings. While your at it Todd, perhaps you can explain to all of us here your feelings on LRO and its images? Were you sleeping when the pics were relayed back here? Do you apply the same incredulous disbelief to the peddlers of conspiracy theories as you do NASA?

        July 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
      • Todd

        Let's see what happens when the final set of data is released....it was only handed over on Mar.15, 2011. Although the primary focus of the missioh was to explore the South Pole of the moon for possible water and places where a space vehicle could land....

        July 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
      • Polymath

        Yes, and there actually still are some members of the Flat Earth Society too. They have this long explanation of how all the scientific evidence is actually wrong and a big explanation of why the Earth really is flat. One of the Apollo missions left a LASER reflector on the moon. The lunar surface itself does not reflect LASER beams; it absorbs and scatters them. There are numerous universities and other scientific entities that regularly fire their LASER at this reflector and get a pure beam bounce back in 2.57 seconds, the time it takes light to get to the moon and return.

        July 28, 2011 at 3:34 am |
    • Eric

      Actually, there are a number of pictures of the leftovers. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took a bunch, and I think there are some non-US images out there as well.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • KBinMN

      Actually they have done so. One of the recent lunar orbitors (from Japan?) took pictures of a couple of the Apollo landing sites. You could see man-made tracks, etc in the lunar dust.

      July 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Todd

      Can someone explain why no other country in the entire world beside the U.S. has ever sent a human being to the moon? Only robotic probes....

      July 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
      • Todd

        Oh ya...and don't use the money excuse....China owns our ass....

        July 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
      • Trippp

        Because back in the 60's the Apollo moon program cost about 30 billion dollars. In todays world thats about 150 billion. Until someone comes up with a cheaper way of getting out of Earths gravity, it will be the richest nations that go back to the moon. You really need to research this Todd rather than being ignorant all your life and asking really stupid questions.

        July 28, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  28. Bill Myers

    Col. Worden: Every one of the Apollo astronauts are owed a debt by this nation that can never be repaid. You were, and are courageous heroes in my mind. Thank you four your service. – Bill M.

    July 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Michael Dorosh

      You're wrong, Mr. Myers. As a Canadian, I am also very happy to consider myself indebted to Col. Worden. I'll remind you that Apollo 11 dedicated their landing to "All Mankind". And Apollo 17 confirmed that that had left the way Apollo 11 had arrived – "with peace for all mankind." It isn't about just one nation, but one world. We stand together with you in awe at the achievements of NASA.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
      • Sean

        Amen! Well said.

        July 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  29. average joe

    I'm sorry but I'm sick of every person that does something of a questionable nature saying that old standby "What I didn't wasn't illegal". Ethics are dead. Character is dead. Honor is none-existent. Now it's either legal or illegal. How simple they've made it to be less-than-honorable.

    July 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  30. WFO

    Conspiracy? Faked (yea right, as if you could ever get several hundred thousand people to keep the exact same lie straight! Where are the "expose" books and such at by former NASA employees blowing the whistle?) Bad old astronauts for using taxpayer cash to gleen a few thousand measly LEGAL and MORAL bux? Really? Are you listening to yourselves? Are all of these naysayers THAT FAR ABOVE EVERYONE that they have right and reason to throw such large (uninformed) rocks? I sit here shaking my head in pity. It must be aweful to live in a world of video games and self righteous browbeating. My condolences. (outlaw smartphones .. they'll be the undoing of freedom ... write that on the wall!). Friggin addicts! You believe everything your little bitty boxes tell you to believe. If the mighty internet says that the Moonshots were faked, then it MUST be true. (if there is a God, may it help us all.)

    Get over yourselves! I see it has become popular to "slam" anything that might look like taxpayers financed something. Outrage over a few LEGALLY MADE BUX by guys that were ABSOLUTE ROLE MODELS for millions of humans. I just love how everyone is a friggin expert on national finances these days, and how everyone plays all concerned about every penny spent .. as if! Makes one look cool and informed, tough guys at the coffee house, right? Smartest guys in McDonalds (free wyfy!) ... Haa!

    Listen morons. These Moonshot Astronauts were total heros to millions of kids. Kids that grew up with HUGE asperations and dreams that they made HAPPEN. Kids that *made themselves* as adults and who were driven on by the heros in their heads and in their histories. Kids that grew up to develope the very TOYS that you are so enamored with (smart phones .. those would be the phones for easily amused dumasses). The internet is LOADED with button-pushing brats that know nothing of what *heritage* and *legacy* mean to proper huiman development. I barely graduated from a rural high school in Arizona nearly 32 years ago. Even with that much of a disadvantage I still drove myself to enough personal success to find peace within me at my age. Without chilhood heros and dreams, "kids" like me usually have zero chance.

    This should be priceless .. oh to be a fly on the wall .. "what did you do in your day grandpa?" .. "well, we sat around and stared at these little teensy screeens and pretended like we actually had a clue about living on Earth .. why do you ask, sonny?" .. "Oh, because Great Grandpa's generation went to the moon, that's all". And you think those kids will hold you as heros? Think again.

    Yea ... can't wait for that generation to figure out their parenrts were losers.

    Act like you give half a crap for once, will ya folks?


    July 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • f

      I once went to the moon in my own homeade hot air balloon. Why won't you believe me??

      July 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  31. JustThinkinOutloud

    What a big bowl of poopy. This is a boring article. This is why kids these days don't give a crap about space. Because this crap is boring.

    July 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  32. ngc1300

    Anthony, a "good Celestron scope" won't show you the LEM descent stages. The Hubble won't show you the descent stages. They were first imaged very recently by the LRO. Of course, they're really not real, we just hired the Chinese to build them there (got a really super deal, too).

    July 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  33. T.C. SCHULTZ

    If the morons at NASA had worried as much about design flaws in O-rings on solid rocket boosters, and obtaining detailed photography of probably damaged space shuttle leading edges, we could have avoided the loss of 14 dedicated Americans whose loss is inexcusable, and can be chalked up to pure incompetence.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • f

      While that is a different topic altogether, it points to the fact that the rockets were designed to operate in a precise manner to almost 100% perfection. If these joker astronauts brought on extra weight (no matter how small for 400 envelopes) there could be no telling what effects it may have had on the rocket. Thankfully, it did not cause any problems on their flight.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
      • Noldi

        Each astronaut had a small weight allowance for "personal items"; they included the stamps in their PPKs (Personal Preference Kits), there was no weight overage.

        July 21, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  34. Sad and Scary

    Wow. Reading the comments on this article is very sad & scary. Seriously, who in their right mind would fault one of these people for taking up something that was allowed for their personal weight allowance, and then try to sell it afterwards? These people were paid VERY poorly for the incredibly dangerous jobs they did. I don't fault them one bit for trying to make a little extra after the fact.

    For all of you conspiracy theorists ... Wow. Just ... WOW. I'm very saddened to think that you may have actually graduated from some form of educational institutions in this country and still lack the logic-processing abilities to realize how amazingly ignorant and uninformed you truly are. Spouting garbage that the Apollo Program was all faked is just flat out sad. Grow up, take some classes, pay attention, use your brains, THINK.

    The Apollo Program was flat-out one of the most amazing and awe-inspiring achievements EVER. To try and deny that it existed and was successful is to spit in the face of literally hundreds of thousands of highly intelligent and highly skilled participants. At its peak, something like 400 THOUSAND people were associated directly with the Apollo Program. Even if you're idiotic enough to think that it was still some conspiracy, just think on this old adage. Nothing is a secret if more than one person knows about it. To think, for even a second, that something of this magnitude could have been kept secret is beyond idiotic.

    One of the saddest things about the Apollo Program was how quickly the general public lost interest in it. Something that was so awe-inspiring and hopeful, that had captured the imagination of literally an entire generation ... to see it canceled by the Nixon administration and to have the technologically-compromised Space Shuttle program take its place – that may very well go down as one of the worst long-term decisions this country has ever made. We could have been to Mars by now, with permanent bases on the Moon. It's bordering on criminal what we as a nation have allowed to be squandered.

    Before some backwoods Tea Party Bibl-thumping idiot trots out that tired argument about the cost ... do you realize that the entire program was accomplished for fractions of a penny on the dollar out of our tax money? Do you realize the sheer amount of spin-offs that came from serendipity out of research for the program? The privilege and ability to use a computer and leave comments on a message board that is viewed by untold numbers of people literally across the globe – thank the Space Program. Countless lives have been saved by medical spin-offs from this program. Telecommunications satellites. Microprocessors. Weather satellites. The list goes on and on.

    Ok, I've vented enough. I just can't stand to read ignorant comments like these. My hat's off to everyone who was ever involved with any aspect of the Space Program, especially the men & women who have risked and sometimes lost their lives in the process.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • M Snow

      Well said!! BRAVO!!

      July 27, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  35. Pleo

    I have to side with NASA on this one. These astronauts flew into space on taxpayer money. You and I paid for their trip. Then they want to try to profit off of it by selling souvenirs they took into space with them? 100% unethical. No question at all about it.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Draeggo

      So let me get this straight... anyone that works for anything funded by tax dollars should be treated as though they have no right to do things any other citizen could do? It wasn't illegal and I'll bet these guys accomplished more in life than most of us. Get a grip and no... I don't work for any type of government and I hope you don't either.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • liame16

        Wow this is great! So your point is that I can use my government issued car and do personal errands with it while filling it with gas that is payed with taxpayers money?

        I mean since you said and believe that any government official or employee is like "any other citizen" and is, like, exempt of any ethical responsibility I can drive the government car for personal use and rip off the government for my personal benefits and gains.


        Way to go Draeggo. You are an inspiration!

        July 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
      • Pleo

        Actually, it's not something any other American can do. Most companies don't allow you to personally profit from work you did for the company. But when it comes to the Government, things are even more strict. If he had paid for his own trip into space? than sure, it's a 100% legit business venture to sell souvenirs he took with him. But he didn't. WE paid to send him there. So basically, he is personally profiting by trying to sell us something we already paid for. It's 100% clearly unethical. He used taxpayer money to finance his own soviener business. I'd even go s far as to say it should be illegal.

        July 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
      • Pleo

        Oh yes. Actually Draeggo, I do work for the federal Government. And as a federal employee, I am not allowed to personally profit from any of Government employment activities (with the exception of my normal salary of course). Again, it's unfair to taxpayers if I were able to personally profit by selling them based on the work I do for the Government for personal gain. They already paid for it.

        July 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
      • Ezzy

        But as a Federal Employee, we are all paying you to sit on CNN and write stupid comments?? Do you realize in the day of the Apollo Missions what they pay was for these guys, chump change! Who gives a crap that they brought envelopes with them! I thinks its awesome! Some kid one day can be sitting in his grandma's house asking where she got an envelope from and she tells him Space!! How cool is that! Shit, I have sold photo's I took overseas, great tourist photo's, and you know how I got there?? The US Navy thank you very much! There is absolutely nothing illegal about it!

        July 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • EricLr

      From what I understand, all the astronauts from Gemini onwards were allowed to carry a "Personal Preference Kit" (PPK) of souvenirs in a small bag, with certain weight restrictions. The PPK bags for Apollo measured roughly 8" x 4" x 2" with weight restrictions of 0.5 lbs. This practice wasn't publicly acknowledged by NASA at the time, but was perfectly permissible (as long as the astronauts stuck to the restrictions and gave a list to NASA ahead of time of what they were taking). It sounds like Worden is right. They got caught selling their souvenirs and an embarrassed NASA lied and tried to claim that they weren't permitted to carry anything into space. They got thrown under the bus by NASA.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bill Duke

      Not even close to being unethical and it wasn't illegal. NASA just has a big stick shoved up their rear end.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Aaron

      Give me a break. NASA the biggest Fakes in History they know it. How dare they steal taxpayers money the people should be payed back. Moon Landing was a fake. Shame on NASA

      July 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
      • oto

        LOL, you think the moon landing was a fake!

        July 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
      • Monique

        Troll or crazy. Either way, you have my pity.

        July 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Jaba

      Pleo, you missed the point. The others who did the same thing were rewarded and held up as heroes but this guy was thrown under the bus. NASA screwed the goat on this one.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:15 am |
  36. DBW

    Imagine taking a bag of dog poo all the way to the moon just to take that picture. That's real genius and should have been rewarded.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  37. DBW

    I thought this was about the picture of the astronaut climbing down the ladder and about to step into a huge steaming dog turd. That was the best NASA moon picture ever.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  38. Calm Dog

    World War II was faked with the cooperation of the British and the French.
    Wyoming is not a real place. Have you ever met anyone from there? Have you?
    Hurricane Katrina was an inside job. I heard that someplace.
    Benjamin Harrison and William Henry Harrison were sisters.
    Chernobyl was a Russian time machine experiment that went wrong.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • DarkStar_WNY

      Calm Dog

      Now I have to explain to my boss why I'm laughing, thanks! lol!

      July 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Colin123

      Freakin hilarious. Thanks.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Jorium

      I'm from Wyoming!! there's only 500,000 of us but we exist!!

      July 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  39. Ceri

    A nothing story – just an advertisement for his new book.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Lean6

      I had never heard of the "covers" controversy. How is it a nothing story? I'm always looking for something that won't bore me halfway through; I might pick it up.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  40. Val Valiant Thor

    The title of the original story is, "Apollo's most controversial mission" (i.e., Apollo 15). Well, it's not. Once NASA realized what was up there, they took the program out of the public domain and placed in the secret NRO/CIA domain, which has a fat check book and doesn't need your consent. It was during the Cold War. It required the cooperation of the Soviets, probably because Khrushchev demanded it (recall the Cuban missile crisis–Kennedy caved, agreeing to coop, Khrushchev walking away victorious on his chess move, which probably precipitated Kennedy's demise).

    The Apollo program was not about rock-collecting like you've been led to believe–it's about appropriation and transfer of "foreign" technology.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Dale

      I thought it was fake. You loony conspiracy buffs need to get your story straight. Maybe you could hold a conspiracy convention in New Mexico.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
      • Val Valiant Thor

        What is it you thought was fake, Dale? And on what grounds? As to conspiracy, just because NRO/CIA was acting well within its province to launch a secret joint US/Soviet mission to the backside of the moon in 1976, without you knowing about it, does not make it a conspiracy. Vandenberg, unlike KSC, does not require mobile launchers and VAB (in case of hurricanes)–they just stack on the ground. They used a newly designed Stage 1 rocket and F-1(A) engines, as described in my previous post. If you go to wiki commons link below, you'll see a Saturn V launch tower under construction (1966-) at SLC-6, when at the time, the largest thing (officially) in USAF's inventory was the Titan III of only about 72ft.

        July 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • Val Valiant Thor

        I forgot the link. Here it is:


        July 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
      • Alex Gessong

        @Val Valiant Thor: seriously, you think the Americans and the Soviets somehow launched a joint mission to the moon, and nobody noticed? Pretty hard to miss a big rocket going into the sky. Lots of countries have radars that search for such things. We also have many observatories and amateur stargazers. It's not really possible to launch a moon mission in secret. As for the idea that the CIA and KGB would ever cooperate, that's just science fiction.

        July 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
      • Val Valiant Thor

        What you seem to be saying, Alex, is that if a secret joint US/Soviet Saturn V (modified) would have launched from Vandenberg at, let's say 3:00 AM, in August of 1976, you would have known about it. Is this correct? And, assuming arguendo, that you did see it, what would you have done? Call the local radio station and report that you just saw a Saturn V moon rocket fly by your kitchen window?

        Keep in mind that during that era, Vandenberg (USAF, NRO, NASA) was launching several rockets a week. And you would have noticed them all, especially the modified Saturn V.

        July 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
      • Tim Brummer

        You are insane. I worked at VAFB in the 70s and 80s, on the Titan and Space Shuttle programs. SLC-6 was originally built for the Titan IIIM MOL program, but the program was cancelled before any launches from there. It was put into mothballs until being modified for the Shuttle. Everything at SLC-6 was and is way too small for a Saturn V, and if one had gone off everyone in Santa Barbara county would have known. In daytime everyone knew about our "secret" Titan III launches as soon as they cleared the hills, at night the sound would wake up the entire town of Lompoc.

        July 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
      • Val Valiant Thor

        Tim Brummer, what you seem to be saying is:

        1) if there had been a SECRET mission to the moon, you would have known about it;

        2) because you worked at Vandenberg, you were privy to every mission flown from there;

        3) if people sleeping at wee hours of night were awakened during the launch of a Saturn V, they would have magically deduced that such was a secret joint US/Soviet mission to the moon and immediately call the news stations;

        4) while a Titan launch would also awaken everyone in town, they would have known it was not a secret mission to the moon;

        5) no one saw the launch, and if anyone had, they would have immediately alerted the news and the police, who in turn would have immediately contacted you; and

        6) the tower shown under construction in 1966 in the photo at the link below, while approx. 5 times taller that required for a Titan III could not have been put there for modified Saturn V launches, in that because you worked there, you are an authority on the subject and the people need not pull their collective head out of the sand and look up:


        July 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Val Valiant Thor: the Soviets turned back their fleet rather than cross the U.S. blockade line, yet you think that means Kennedy caved? Actually, it means the Soviets caved. Also, what exactly do you think the U.S. and Soviets would be doing jointly on the far side of the moon? If there were something to exploit there, neither the Soviets nor the Americans would want to share it. Think about it. The concept of a secret joint moon mission is simply not plausible given past or current technology (rockets, radio communications, etc.). Maybe they used the teleportation equipment that was sent to them from future time travelers? 😉

      July 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
      • Val Valiant Thor

        Once Kennedy caved to the rational demand for cooperation (ie, that the US would not seek exclusive control of the Moon), there was no need for the missiles to remain in Cuba. It was a chess move on Khrushchev's part, motivated by the first duty under natural law, which is preservation of self/country,species. Once Khrushchev realized that the US was going to get there first, he decided to make his move by placing missiles in Cuba. Once Kennedy agreed to cooperation, Khrushchev removed them because they had served their purpose. The rest is history.

        July 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • barackobama

      Thor: "It required the cooperation of the Soviets, probably because Khrushchev demanded it"...You need to go back to history class. Khrushchev was removed from power in 1964. How could he demand anything in 1976? Especially since he died in 1971.

      July 27, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
      • Val Valiant Thor

        The space race, initially, was all about who gets to the Moon first. While it is true that USSR beat us to the punch on first satellite, first man/woman, first space walk, etc., they knew the US had the edge and would get there first–with Van Braun, we basically took over where the Nazis left off. This very well could be the true reason why we got sucked into WWII, in that we could not allow Hitler to control the moon, due to its strategic value and abundance of "foreign" technology littering its surface.

        Design of the Saturn moon rocket began in the late '50s under the auspices of the USAF, before officially being handed over to NASA. "The Saturn V's design stemmed from the designs of the V-2 and Jupiter series rockets", the V-2 of course being a Nazi design (see Wikipedia: Saturn V).

        July 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  41. Susan

    Why can't I post comments to all CNN stories without a login?

    July 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  42. Wall-E

    As a matter of fact, there is a bible left on the moon. I believe on the last mission, one of the astronauts left it on the seat of the rover after its last use and before they took off from the surface

    July 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Anthony

      It's frozen !!!!

      July 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Johnny

      So it is doing just about as much good there as it is here, then.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • snooki sneeks

      Great..now the aliens that find it can start Holy Wars too. yay.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Calm Dog

      Cool. For the first hotel room on the moon. It's a start.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  43. ArtInChicago

    I still want to know about the Transformers that Armstrong and Aldrin found.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Lean6

      They found SOMETHING during those missions and those of the space shuttle. I'd bet my life on that. The whole basis of civilization would be rocked if suddenly it were confirmed that we are the idiots and least advanced species of the universe. Just imagine even a whole slew of revamped interpretations of religious texts.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
      • Anthony

        In time it will come out and.
        Right now, all videos from NASA are time delayed, so "stuff" can be editted out.

        July 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
      • Doomguy

        I don't need space aliens to tell me we are the red headed stepchildren of the universe. Any new online comment section proves that beyond the shadow of a doubt.

        July 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
      • Lean6

        Whenever I mingle with comment section crowds, I'm convinced that the poor collective state of our intellect is no mistake. I think this conversation is but one of the reasons that society is kept ignorant. The other reason is so that people won't notice that they're on a plantation.

        July 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  44. No walk on the moon

    I don't believe man walked on the moon, I think it was staged. I have heard the radiation is to high for humans to be there.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Dave

      And the world if flat too.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • killallidiots


      July 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • GMCRET

      No walk on the moon – The problem with conspiracy theories is the number of people required to pull it off. The moon landings happened in the late 60's and early 70's and in all that time not one person (from a cast of thousands) has come forward to say they participated in faking them. That just doesn't seem possible to me.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Garfield

      That's why we, you know, where space suits.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Huff

      The radiation myth has been explained and dispelled countless times. Besides, the issue wasn't radiation on the moon but an area between earth and the moon. Read up on it. We went to the moon!

      July 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • BobZemko

      I hope you have not procreated yet !!!

      July 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Benny

      Uhh... Don't get me wrong. I'm not defending the tard or his stance, but you said:
      "...and in all that time not one person (from a cast of thousands) has come forward to say they participated in faking them."
      Actually, there have been quite a few. They just have no evidence and are written off as conspiracy theorists. I think they keep getting laughed at because we ALL know that everything we see on TV and hear from our government is true! LOL.. Kinda ironic actually!

      July 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
      • GMCRET

        Really? Who? I can find a lot of sites that claim the landings were a hoax, but not any that say "I did it"

        July 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Red in Austin

      You've "heard" huh? Well, that's enough to convince me! Who cares that my Father's entire career was spent with NASA and Lockeed, starting with the Apollo Program? I always thought he was an engineer. I never would have guessed he was really a great actor.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Pliny

      And I don't believe you can be that stupid and yet somehow survived this long.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
      • Doomguy

        Government handouts played a role.

        July 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Anthony

      There will always be people like you. Just buy a good Celestron telescope you can see the bottom part of the LEM in the different landing sites. Mirrors have also been left on the moon surface. You can bounce a laser beam from it.

      Then again, you are probably from the "lost generartion" of "generation X" where everything has been handed to you and the truth has no meaning. Also consider: the earth is flat, alliens have taken over area 51, 911 is an inside job and we are not living in a real world, what you see is a computer program like the Matrix... study, look at facts and then talk to people who actually lived and were involved in the Apollo program (then again we are all part of the conspiracy...)

      July 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
      • Nick Green

        As part of Apollo 11's 40th anniversary in 2009, NASA spearheaded an effort to digitally restore the existing videotapes of the mission's live televised moonwalk. After an exhaustive three-year search for missing tapes of the original video of the Apollo 11 moonwalk, NASA concluded the data tapes had more than likely been accidentally erased.
        HA HA HA HA!! Yes man walked in the Hollywood studios, and Nevada desert!!

        July 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
      • mike1241

        The first part of the response was constructive and is a good answer to the person who asked the question. But why heap on the insults?

        July 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • Troy

        We don't live in a real world. Earth is actually a neutron, our solar system is an atom, our galaxy is a molecule, and our "universe" is a cell in a much larger universe.

        July 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
      • Bob Semour

        Um...you can't see the LEMs from Earth. Not even the Hubble can see them. You're right about the laser reflectors though.

        July 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Suliwen

      Why in the world would we need to fake flying to and around the moon 9 times and then landing on the moon 6 times? Wouldn't once be enough?

      July 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Polymath

      The Earth has an electromagnetic belt that shields us from most solar and cosmic radiation. This belt extends far enough to mostly shield lunar astronauts, but not completely. Aldrin and Armstrong chose not to reveal to NASA until after their flight about a phenomenon they experienced. After reaching the moon, with eyes closed and trying to sleep, they kept seeing bright flashes of light. Turns out each of these was a cosmic ray passing through the retina. Not much damage was done, however trips to Mars WILL encounter the radiation of which you speak; the astronsuts will be too far from Earth's magnetic core to have any protection. Serious obstacles regarding radiation shielding remain in the way of a Mars mission.

      July 28, 2011 at 3:43 am |
  45. dale

    NASA is too choked up with government bureaucracy and budget problems, the private space programs like space X and the others need to quit sitting on their hands waiting for government money because it is not going to happen, the government needs to get out of their way and let private companies take over.

    A lot of NASA's technology and knowledge was paid for by the American taxpayer NASA needs to let these private businesses access to this information.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Alex

      So you want businesses to profit from tax payer funded technologies? I have a problem with that unless we get a cut. Besides that NASA already did do that (lease our inventions to private companies), I feel like if anything the tax payers (us) should have the government be entitled to royalties from any private company that benefits from our patented technology for as long as we hold the patent.

      A few inventions NASA created:
      -Scratch resistant glasses
      – Memory Foam
      – charcoal water filters
      – Long distance Wireless Telecommunication
      – Improved Battery technology to create cordless tools

      and quite a few other inventions.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Greg

      They DO have access to it. NASA is a public organization and as such their technology is available to all US citizens. However, private industry does not have to disclose their information. Here's a quick example: What is the material used by NASA for the re-entry tiles? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_thermal_protection_system
      What is the radar absorbing coating material used on Lockheed Martins F-22 Raptor? Classified

      July 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
      • DOD

        NASA is not as public as you think. Read their charter. From the beginning it has been an adjunct of the DOD. Telemetry from all missions has always been filtered before making it public.

        July 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  46. sue

    its a dead horse. oh and hasn;t the space program been killed to.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Kana

      No, only the shuttle program. There are other projects still in effect.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Lean6

      The SHUTTLE program has been discontinued. Space exploration has NOT been discontinued. The space program could not justify its existence beyond the argument of maintaining proficiency entering orbit...we're not going to forget how to enter orbit. That's like you repeatedly driving coast-to-coast just for a vote of confidence that you can navigate interstate highway. It was money better spent elsewhere.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  47. Klaark

    Seems the word "controversy" means nothing these days.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  48. jj

    We always hear about how much an ounce of material costs to get to space. One of the guys took a guitar up on the last Shuttle mission!

    July 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • cal bears=lousy football

      well if it was an acoustic, they don't weigh much... now if it was a huge hunk of wood like Les Paul, then that would be an issue.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • BCinAL

        but the Les Paul wouldn't hurt your shoulder, or make much sound without an amp.

        July 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  49. Chris

    I never heard anything about it at the time. This is news to me. I suspect that NASA did not want to appear "commercialistic". I don't think they would even worry about it today. Anything goes today. Anything for a buck.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  50. Ismet

    This is justified. These men risked their lives, went through rigorous training, suffered mental and physical stresses for advancement of humanity and in my opinion are not fairly compensated for all that they went through. So what if they wanted to make some history and money in their later years. I would be the first one to buy a souvenir from the Moon.

    God Bless Gemini, Mercury and Apollo astronauts.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  51. Josh

    I thought all astronauts were able to bring a small amount (weight and size wise) of personal items with them. So, big deal, These astronauts brought postal envelopes.

    Hay, at least one Mercury astronauts brought small "charms" of a Mercury capsule, for the purpose of exchanging them for sex after their flight. That's better?

    July 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Big Al

      It would depend on the sex, wouldn't it?

      July 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  52. Dave

    The astronauts had always been permitted to bring along a small amount of 'personal' material. Heck, even Gus Grissom took a few rolls of dimes with him when he went up in his Mercury flight. Were astronauts ever forbidden to sell their stories as a book? Of course not.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  53. BobZemko

    What Worden did was not so bad. Pete Conrad taking his dog Skippy along on Apollo 12 was just plain illegal !!!!

    July 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  54. DevilsAdvocate

    Anyone who flies in an airplane would have the same opportunity.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • DevilsAdvocate

      "The real difference is the view,” he said. “You can see both the Earth and the moon, which is a pretty unique position."

      July 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
      • disco_fever

        A little different don't you think?

        July 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  55. William

    First Day Covers are envelopes... 400 envelopes don't weigh much but does seem a bit excessive...I sense a bit of entitlement in his comments. But to lose your job over it was a bit much...despite the first paragraph of this story Apollo astronaut still are American heroes...

    July 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • TucsonDean

      The astronauts got some perks along the way, but they risked their lives and worked longer and harder than most for a base salary of $17K. I don't fault them a thing.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
      • Rocketmom

        Yes, but the average salary in the 1960s was $4700 and in the 1970s was $7500. These are averages for the entire decades so you do the math, for the time period $17,000 was a lot of money. These guys lived in high end houses, drove Corvettes and were living high on the hog. Yes, there job was risky, but they were actually being paid very well for the time period.

        July 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  56. OrangePekoe

    It does sound tacky even if others did it as well. Giving a gift is one thing but selling is another. A bad idea.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  57. svann

    These guys risked their lives going into space for us and you have the nerve to banish them for trying to make a buck? Isnt that what Americans do? They broke no laws so get over yourselves. So what if a stamp collector gets to have a space stamp in his collection?

    July 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  58. Val Valiant Thor

    What about NRO/CIA's secret mission to backside of moon in 1976 (launched from Vandenberg) using a modified Saturn V (Stage 1 heavily modified with exhaust ducts permitting Stage 2 ignition before separation like Soviet's Proton rocket and the new F1(A) engines). That mission crew comprised two civilians (one of them female) from Bell Labs, and cosmonaut Alexei Leonov (yes, ASTP was just window dressing).

    You didn't know about it because it was SECRET, like most other NRO missions, which, BTW, has put more hardware in space than NASA, ESA, JAXA, Russia combined. NRO has no budget. If it wants a Saturn V, it has the means to do so. Secret space missions are within its province, and they don't need your permission. Consequently, a secret US/Soviet mission to the moon is not a conspiracy. Leaked clips can be found here:



    July 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • TheMovieFan

      What does that have to do with the story?

      July 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • sparknut

      You have quite an imagination.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Huff

      Apollo missions could never launch out of Vandenberg. Apollo must launch eastward to insert into the proper parking orbit. Vandenberg handles only southward launches for injection into polar orbits. An eastward launch from Vandenberg means over-flying populated areas, thus such launches are prohibited. Vandenberg would never have any involvement in an Apollo mission.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • CDG

      Yeah Val, I heard about that one too. It was the one where they found the Transformers, right?

      July 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • BobZemko

      Please provide more links that will do my thinking for me !!!!

      July 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  59. james26354

    Man they really overreacted. btw just look at how sharp that photo is for its era LOL

    July 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Bluto

      Yeah, it was a Hasselblad... Great camera!

      July 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  60. f1fan61

    in reply to kris. i bet these guys know english grammar.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Hugo

      Maybe, but I do know "English" is with a capital "E".. 🙂

      July 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  61. RealSci

    This story clearly shows that we, as a nation, had more integrity and moral principles back in the Apollo days. Now, anything goes and it's all about money, which makes this Worden story look trivial, which it is.
    In today's America, if some people can get away with murder and get rich from it as well as nit wit people with no talent and nothing to offer except their own greedy self interests, then one can say we are becoming morally bankrupt.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  62. kris

    NASA is to be blamed for sending such an IDIOTS for such a proud and respectable mission.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Rachel M

      Since all the Apollo astronauts did it, are you saying all Apollo astronauts were idiots?

      July 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • william stoffs

      judge not, unless thy learnest to SPELL.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
      • Sean

        Perhaps you shouldn't bag on someone's spelling when you don't realize you should capitalize the first letter of your sentence.

        July 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • svann

      Astronauts are some of the most educated and highly trained people in the service of our country.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  63. john

    Would it have been OK to bring his Rottweiler along for the ride? The added weight might have forced the ejection of the dog into space to lighten the load and not jeopardize a successful return voyage. I would think that NASA would have had actual rules or regulations specifically with this sort of thing in mind. Why were there none? That seems very strange IMO.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • SuffolkGuy

      Agree. They should either have been told not to bring ANYTHING personal or have a weight limit, etc placed on it.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
      • Ryan

        Actually, they do have a weight limit – each astronaut is allowed to bring a certain amount (in weight) of personal articles on missions with them, of course those articles must be reasonable (i.e. pictures of the astronauts family, etc.).

        July 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • WDS

      They did have regulations and the astronauts were allowed to bring personal things on the missions.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • svann

      They do have a personal item weight limit. Alan Shepard brought his golf club and hit a golf ball and no one complained.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
      • Eric

        Because he didn't directly profit from that.

        July 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Michael

      A dog needs to breath, eat, and relieve itself. That is a major consideration in space flight.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  64. john r

    Should not have taken that stuff with them regardless of what people did beforehand. They were compensated via salary and other benefits as well as the opportunities they got afterhand just by being who they were in the first place. They essentially made money on the side from a taxpayer funded venture. Go ahead and sell your precious covers. We'll just deduct the fuel costs and other overhead to get you up there in the first place.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Typical tea party idiocy. Wow! They got a salary and benefits, ACTUALLY, he got a military paycheck and military benefits.
      I'm betting you begrudge his and my military pensions too, after over 20 years of service, huh?
      But, HE is evil, because he did what every OTHER astronaut did over the years, because it's wrong AFTER the fact or some other idiocy.
      Tell the truth, you just hate NASA and scientific programs.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
      • EdNv

        Ditto - military pay for all the hard and DANGEROUS work. As long as there was nothing that could compromise safety then who the heck cares what they took up!

        July 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Phil

      So easy to stand in judgement 40 year after the fact.....I'm sure you have lived a life free of all mannor of violation of law, sin, ethics, morality. Must be nice to be so pure and untainted.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  65. Nellore Venkataraman

    When Sara Palin make billions out of her brainless bayings and Casey Anthony is set to make millions as an alleged baby killer, to reprimand these heroes is criminal. Where are we headed these days?

    July 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • VegasRage

      No shìt!

      July 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • william stoffs

      I worked at Cape Canaveral for several years, I was amazed that NASA didn't fine, I think it was Allan Gifford but I am not sure, for littering the moon when he teed off on that golf ball.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
      • Jon Burns

        William Stoffs, there was no Alan Gifford! It was Alan Sheppard that hit the golf ball! AND You
        worked at Cape Canaveral for several years? Come on !!!#^%#@&^@@

        July 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
      • Rod

        I believe it was Alan Shepard–maybe Apollo 12 but not certain.

        July 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
      • Mike

        Littering? A single golf ball? When NASA INTENTIONALLY left all kinds of sensors, equipment, lunar rovers, and half of each lander up there? Really?

        July 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  66. pat

    Yeah, I always thought that besides a flag, there's probably a bible or jesus cross left up there on the moon by one of the astonauts. I figure that one of them just couldn't resist marking a spot for jesus.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Nope. But, there IS a golf ball up there somewhere.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
      • Fly me to the moon

        I beleive there a 3 golf balls up there.

        July 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Rod

      Yep, there's also a lunar rover or two, probably sitting on cinder blocks with the tires removed.
      Sorry, I couldn't resist...

      July 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  67. BaloneY!

    –> It wasn't as bad as people thought. We didn't violate any regulations, we broke no rules," Worden said. NASA "was very quick to throw us under the bus," said Worden. "They made an example of us." Worden, an Air Force colonel, was dropped from the astronaut corps and reassigned to a NASA desk job – never to fly in space again!
    I do not see this so much as an integrity issue as a "mission control" issue. Didnt jeapordize mission / crew. JM2C

    July 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  68. TA

    Wow, this is what passes for coverage of science and technology at CNN these days? Is this really the only thing you can find to talk about, some rehashing of some personal disagreement from 40 years ago? This is People-magazine level stuff – just appalling. Shame!

    July 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      What is interesting is, there are hints that the Higgs boson has been found, it was reported on by the BBC.
      CNN covers postage stamps.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  69. Thomas

    One more shining victory for the Nixon administration - find something insignificant and make a federal case out of it.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  70. David

    They violated no rules... they broke no law... got screwed anyway... NASA and the government pooped in the bed on this one...

    July 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  71. outawork

    Now days these FDCs (stamp collecting short hand for first day covers) would sell for a good bit. Most modern FDCs are worth nothing now days.

    July 27, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  72. Ground Rover

    Good example of why manned space flight is in the dumper. Still has a chip on his shoulder all of these years later. Should have used chimps.

    July 27, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Wzrd1

      WHY would we send YOU to the moon?

      July 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Bob

      Is it the fault of the astronauts that NASA stopped manned space flight to the moon or beyond after the Apollo missions ended nearly 40 years ago?

      July 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
      • EdNv

        NASA didn't stop the Space program, Congress did. We had to fund the war to keep those evil Chinese commies from overrunning South East Asia... and thank God for that, huh?

        July 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  73. chris adams

    the covers things was a sad joke- leave the guys alone!

    July 27, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  74. Bob

    The government was only mad because they could not find a way to tax the envelopes.

    July 27, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • outawork

      I think income tax would have covered it.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  75. Adam

    Wow who says only the youth suffer from entitlement issues.

    You brought something with you on a "trip" paid for by American taxpayers so you could turn around and make a tidy little profit for yourself afterwards. Now you're crying because you got reprimanded and cut from the astronaut corps? I bet if they had Ebay back they he would have been trying to sell his helmet and parts of his capsule for a quick buck too.

    Get over yourself.

    July 27, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Assumption!

      – spelled – Ass-U-Me – history reveals that nearly all such 'personal' items having vivited space, Are given as Gifts! or kept as personal momentos! .

      July 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  76. john

    Good for him. Those guys put their life on the line to go and get back from the moon. They should be able to take something as harmless as a postage stamp with them and make some money later on. God knows their salary doens't compare with the risk they took.

    July 27, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  77. Integrity?

    Just because everyone else was doing it, doesn't mean it was ok. Its called self discipline and having the Integrity to do what's right. Add to that a high profile job, what did you expect?

    July 27, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Bob

      You do realize they're talking about stamps here, right? It's not like they authorized the launch of the Challenger shuttle in low temperatures despite warnings from engineers.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
      • Gezellig

        But that's just it; they're not just talking about stamps. They are talking about whether these astronauts showed good judgment. Let me ask you this, when they were approached with this business deal, why didn’t they simply go to NASA and see what they thought? Could it be that they knew that if they asked, the answer would be no? So they decided to do this without telling NASA. If you are NASA, is that the kind of behavior you want to see in your astronauts? Neil Armstrong would not have violated any rules by yelling "Buy Coca Cola" as the first words on the moon, and I am sure he could have made a pretty penny doing so, but would that have shown good judgment? I don’t buy the “they’re underpaid/risking their lives/working hard” rationalization. These guys were in their dream jobs and they knew it. There is not a rule for everything, and “I didn't violate any rules" is not the standard you want your astronauts to aspire to.
        The reaction of the public to the covers incident at the time, rightly or wrongly, was negative. NASA, rightly or wrongly, is very sensitive to public opinion. The astronauts should have known this, and simply turned the offer down.
        That having been said, Al Worden went to the moon, and he is an American hero; so I don’t feel sorry for him at all.

        August 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Yeah, like so many scandalous politicians and athletes and business men and women and teachers and preachers and scout leaders and babysitters and, did I get them all? Probably not. Normal people have no chance at all if those mentioned can't act with integrity, yet they don't. And it's nothing new, it's all been status quo for the past few million years. If you think preachers have just now started fondling kids, you really don't have a clue. Human trafficking? Millions of years. Sex scandals? Millions of years. I think the data speaks for itself, there is no one on this planet that truly has integrity.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
      • Dippitydoo

        But people have only been writing moronic comments like yours on the Internet for 20 years or so, so what's your point.

        October 6, 2012 at 9:53 am |


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