Friday, May 8, 2009
In January I wrote about how glad I was to have words of support for Moonshot from Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot on the Apollo 11 mission. Since then I’ve been happy and honored to receive additional blurbs from these Apollo veterans:
“Moonshot is a treat to look at and enjoy. The art is very accurate, in fact more accurate than I can remember seeing anywhere else. There is little that is not complex and confusing about space hardware, yet Moonshot gets it right. Very wonderful art in every way.”
— Alan Bean, Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 12
“Moonshot is well done and should receive a warm welcome from many space age boys and girls.”
— James Lovell, Command Module Pilot, Apollo 8; Commander, Apollo 13
“Moonshot is wonderful for keeping the dream alive for young people.”
— Edgar Mitchell, Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 14
“The most significant legacy of Apollo is the inspiration it instills in the hearts and minds of those young dreamers who follow in our footsteps. Moonshot furthers the romance of once again going where no man has gone before.”
— Gene Cernan, Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 10; Commander, Apollo 17
Those blurbs have been up on my web site, but I wanted quickly to say here how much I appreciate getting them and having the chance to communicate, even briefly, with such incredible individuals — individuals who have been to the Moon. Seeing those names in my e-mail inbox, or hearing them on my phone after wondering who might be calling from an area code I didn’t recognize (Houston, of course), has been a huge thrill. Just incredibly exciting.
I was particularly happy to receive Alan Bean’s note. This is indeed complicated stuff, and no matter how much of it you think you’ve figured out, it’s hard to know what you might still be missing or misunderstanding. So that note was a vindication and a relief. The other added thrill with hearing from Bean was that it was from artist to artist; since retiring from NASA in 1981, Bean has been painting full-time. You can see his art online at alanbean.com. You can also see it in the forthcoming Mission Control, This is Apollo, a big, beautiful, information-packed book for young readers, with text by Andrew Chaikin, author of the fantastic adult book (“adult book”) A Man on the Moon. Mission Control, This is Apollo is for ages 9 to 12, they say, but I’ve had a look at it and love it and I haven't been 12 in a long time.