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Blue Dot 210: TRIBUTE TO A LEGEND: Blue Dot Remembers Glynn Lunney

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Glynn Lunney

When Dave heard of the passing of one of his personal heroes, Glynn Lunney, he got on the phone to retired NASA Flight Director Gerry Griffin and they put together this special tribute episode for our Apollo@50 series. Glynn Lunney was the fourth NASA Flight Director and was integral to the space program's pioneering Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Projects. He passed away due to a bout with cancer on May 19, 2021.

Shock waves reverberated throughout the Apollo history community for this man revered for his calm, cool and competent leadership under pressure. In the early hours of the Apollo 13 crisis, it was Lunney who came up with a plan to keep the astronauts alive while the entire NASA flight control team rallied to come up with the procedures to bring Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert home safely.

Dave and Gerry are joined by three of Glynn Lunney's closest colleagues, Flight Controllers Jerry Bostick, Chuck Deiterich, and Bill Stoval as they swap stories from the halcyon days of early space exploration and the most dramatic moments of the Apollo lunar program. Author and Apollo historian Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man On The Moon joins Dave to put Lunney's career in historical perspective and shares personal recollections of his relationship with the legendary former Flight Director, whose designation as the leader of the "Black Team" of flight controllers was "Black Flight." It's a celebration of a life truly well and inspiringly lived.

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.