Remembering The All-Michigan Moon Mission, Apollo 15 [Video]
In the wake of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 first ever moon landing, did you know there was an all-Michigan moon mission? You do now.
Apollo 15 will celebrate its own 47th anniversary this month. It launched on July 26, 1971 and was the first moon landing to take along the moon rover vehicle.
And it was a mission in which all three crew members had a Michigan connection. Specifically, the University of Michigan.
The mission was captained by David Scott, who was on his third and last mission. David wanted to attend the US Military Academy at West Point, but couldn't get in, so he accepted a swimming scholarship to the University of Michigan where he earned honors in the School of Engineering. He then transferred to West Point.
The Command Module pilot on Apollo 15 was Al Worden, who grew up in Jackson and attended Jackson High School where he was student council president. Worden later attended the University of Michigan and earned tow Masters degrees in Engineering after earning his undergraduate degree at West Point. Apollo 15 was Worden's only foray into space.
The Lunar Module commander was James Irwin who was on his first and only space mission. Irwin was born in Pittsburgh, and at the tender age of 12, he informed his mom he was going to land on the moon. That became his life's goal. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the US Naval Academy, and then earned his Masters of Science from, you guessed it, the University of Michigan, making all three crew members Wolverine graduates.
However, the long standing myth that the three left behind a blue M flag on the lunar surface has been debunked, although I wanted it to be true.
In addition to being the first flight to use the rover, the mission was noted for its first use of redesigned spacesuits. The upgrade to the back pack allowed for longer spacewalks and time spent on the moon.
Worden was a firm believer that man was not alone in space, and that man himself was descended from aliens.