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Blue Dot 203: Apollo 14 Pt. 2 -- Commander Al Shepard And Mission Control

We continue our Apollo@50 special with part two of our look back at Apollo 14. In this episode we focus on the Commander and America's first astronaut in space, Alan B. Shepard. While he is no longer with us, we did get the perspective of one of his daughter's Julie Jenkins.

Once again, "Apollo Kids" Amy Bean and Gwen Griffin reprise their guest host roles and interview Julie as she talks about her famous parents, Al and Louise.
Then Dave (a lifelong golfer) digs into the story of Shepard's golf shots on the Moon with Victoria Nenno from the USGA Museum in New Jersey. The museum houses the lunar sampling tool turned six iron by Shepard for his, shots, one which he exclaimed went, "miles and miles!" We'll find out the true distance with Victoria!

And finally, we get the all important perspective on the mission from Mission Control in Houston with Flight Directors Gerry Griffin (aka "Gwen's Dad") and Milt Windler along with Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise.

Haise was supposed to explore the Fra Mauro Highlands with Jim Lovell on Apollo 13 but after the accident that crippled their spacecraft, the crew was fortunate to make it back to Earth.

But Haise made it clear that he wanted to be the lead CapCom ("Capsule Communicator"), the astronaut charged with relaying communications from the flight controllers to and from the crew in space.


Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
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.