Astronaut gives thanks

Dear Editor:My grateful thanks to the people of Downey and the Columbia Memorial Space Center for the wonderful reception I received the other week on my first visit back to Downey in many decades. ("Apollo Astronaut Inspires Space Center Crowd," 9/1/11). I was very touched by the standing-room-only crowd at the center when I gave my talk and signed copies of my book, "Falling to Earth." The book shares many stories of my time in Downey working on the Apollo program, and it was very special to be back in the place where it all happened. My thanks also to the Aerospace Legacy Foundation for the fascinating tour of the old plant, and to the City of Downey for declaring it "Colonel Worden Day." I hope it is not long until I can visit you all again. -- Al Worden, Apollo 15 astronaut

Dear Editor: In The Downey Patriot of Sept. 1, the Apollo astronaut Al Worden describes where NASA sent him, Dave Scott and Jim Irwin. He stated that part of the team preparation was to travel to Iceland then to Alaska, Mexico, California, New Mexico, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, Texas and, of course, to the floor of the Grand Canyon. This high-class vacation was to study geological regions. They could have studied books and slide shows to acheive this. NASA most likely spent around $1 million for this vacation. Taxpayers of course paid for it. Did all the other astronauts get to go on this high-class vacation, too? -- Mike Sandoval, Downey

********** Published: September 08, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 21