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Blue Dot 202: The Flight Of Apollo 14 Part 1



In the latest of Blue Dot's Apollo@50 series we look back at the third successful lunar landing mission, Apollo 14, which took place during early February of 1971 in the first of a two-part special. After the near disaster of Apollo 13, Apollo 14 was targeted for the same landing site -- the Fra Mauro Highlands as NASA began its shift toward the scientific exploration of the Moon.

Commanded by America's first man in space, Alan Shepard (the only one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts to go on a lunar flight), and featuring two rookie astronauts, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 faced many challenges from a balky docking mechanism to problems during the descent to the Moon. Thanks to the crew and of course, Mission Control in Houston, the mission was a great success. 
In this episode Dave is helped out by some of his "Apollo KId" friends. Amy Bean, the daughter of Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean and Gwen Griffin, the daughter of Apollo Flight Director Gerry Griffin, lead a discussion with some of Stuart Roosa's adult children (Allen, Christopher and Rosemary) about their late father's life and legacy. Then Amy joins Dave to visit with late astronaut Ed Mitchell's god daughter Antares Davis (named for the Apollo 14 Lunar Module) and Claudia Welss (from the Institute of Noetic Sciences which Mitchell founded) about the late LM pilot's life and unique intellect.
Also on the show is Homemade Documentaries creator Jackson Tyler, who helps put the importance of the Apollo 14 mission into context and Clive Neal from Notre Dame University who shares his geologic insight into the Fra Mauro landing site. 
Next week, Part 2 will examine the life and legend of Alan Shepard as well as insights into the mission from Flight Directors Gerry Griffin and Milt Windler along with Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise who served as a main CAPCOM (the astronaut who communicated directly with the crew in space from Houston) for Apollo 14.

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.