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Blue Dot 169: Growing Up Apollo: An Interview With Moonwalker's And Flight Controller Kids


Dave visits with some very special friends! Amy Bean, Tracy Cernan, and Gwen Griffin all grew up inside the Apollo Moon program during the late 1960s and early 70s. Amy and Tracy's Dad's were among the 12 men who are the only ones to have ever walked on another world -- The Moon. 



Tracy Cernan Woolie, left, daughter Ashley Woolie and Amy Bean, daughter Victoria Mellin, 1993, Introducing our new babies.

Amy's father Alan Bean was the Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 12 and the fourth man on the Moon, Tracy's Dad, the  Gene Cernan was the last man to walk on the Moon, Gene Cernan, who commanded Apollo 17. 



Tracy Cernan Woolie, Gwen Griffin and Amy Bean strike a pose.

Gwen Griffin's father Gerry Griffin was one of the Flight Directors back in Mission Control in Houston that made sure their fathers were able to complete their missions. It was also Gerry who sent Dave a picture of the three women that led to this interview! 


We also chat with Peter Conrad, whose father Pete Conrad (who was killed in a motorcycle crash in 1999) was the Commander of Apollo 12. The three women were close friends as kids and remain so to this day and that bond has also been a blessing for them dealing with the loss of their astronaut fathers in recent years. 


Find out what it was like to live a normal life (thanks in great part to their amazing Moms) while growing up inside the bubble of America's Space program during NASA's pioneering age.


Dave Schlom has taught the physical sciences at Corning Union High School since 1991. A lifelong amateur astronomer and astronomy educator, he has a passion for both the earth and the space sciences, which are the principal areas of focus for guests on Blue Dot. He started doing radio interviews on space and astronomy topics for local stations like KFM and KPAY in the 1980s and into the 90s, where he was a popular go-to guest for local radio personalities. He is also an expert on the history and geology of Lassen Volcanic National Park, where he has served as a volunteer for decades. Dave enjoys a quiet life at home with his partner in life, Cheryl, and their two dogs, Elvis and Pearl, at their Red Bluff residence.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.