NSS to Honor Apollo Astronaut Al Worden at Annual Conference

Astronaut Al Worden

WASHINGTON (NSS PR) — The National Space Society (NSS) has named astronaut Al Worden the 2019 recipient of NSS’ Space Pioneer Award for Historic Space Achievement. Worden flew to the Moon on Apollo 15.

The prestigious award will be presented to Mr. Worden at the Society’s 38th annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC®), to be held in the Washington DC area at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel from June 6-9, 2019. NSS invites the public to come meet, interact and learn from Al Worden and attend his award ceremony.

For more information, see: isdc2019.nss.org.

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Update on Blue Origin New Shepard Flight

New Shepard booster fires its engine just over the landing pad. (Credit: Blue Origin)

The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference is being held in Colorado through Wednesday. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but the following folks are there tweeting away:

  • Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust
  • Rand Simberg‏ @Rand_Simberg
  • Colorado Space News‏ @CO_Space_News

Below is an update on Blue Origin’s New Shepard program based on their tweets.

Jeff Ashby
Chief of Mission Assurance
Blue Origin

  • Flawless New Shepard flight test last week
  • First commercial flight under a launch license issued by FAA — allows Blue Origin to collect revenues (unlike previous experimental permit)
  • New vehicle incorporates lessons learned from earlier flight test program that finished in October 2016
  • Roughly one year away from New Shepard human flight tests, 18-24 months from flights with human-tended payloads
  • Waiting until the commercial service version of the system is flying to sell tickets for New Shepard flights
  • Capsule has full environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) and triple redundancy as well as pusher escape system
  • New Shepard flights will have about three minutes of microgravity
  • 5 G’s peak experienced during reentry
  • Proprietary landing system provides a soft landing for capsule and its occupants and experiments
  • One day of training required that will include mission simulation and emergency egress instruction
  • Centrifuge training at NASTAR will not required for New Shepard flights
  • Flight will be conducted early in morning due to calmer winds at that time
  • Apollo astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Al Worden have expressed interest in flying
  • System designed to be rapidly reusable
  • Takes about two weeks to turn around New Shepard for relaunch
  • Goal is to reduce turnaround to one week with 20 operational personnel
  • Blue Origin landed a booster from space first (before SpaceX)
  • Watching a rocket land is even cooler than watching them launch
  • Shift from “used” rockets to “flight proven” has been a good thing
  • New Glenn orbital rocket will have 7-meter payload to accommodate larger payloads

Apollo Astronaut Al Worden to Guest on Space Talk

alworden

PROGRAM UPDATE

Apollo 15 command module pilot Al Worden will be the featured guest on the July 11 edition of “Space Talk with Jim Banke.” Worden, a retired Air Force colonel, flew to the Moon in August 1971 with astronauts Dave Scott and Jim Irwin, remaining in lunar orbit while his crewmates explored Hadley Rille and the Apennene Mountains. On the way home to Earth he performed the first spacewalk in “deep space.”

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