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Blue Dot: Apollo @50: The flight of Apollo 16 to the lunar highlands

Apollo 16 liftoff April 16, 1972

Blue Dot's signature Apollo@50 series continues with the fifth lunar landing mission, Apollo 16. In April of 1972, the crew of Commander John Young, Lunar Module Pilot Charlie Duke, and Command Module Pilot Thomas "Ken" Mattingly set out for the most ambitious science mission to date to explore the mysteries of the Descartes Highlands.

Host Dave Schlom talks to Apollo Flight Director and longtime friend Gerry Griffin about the launch of a Saturn V, visits with Charlie Duke (one of the four living Apollo Moonwalkers) and his pilot son Tom where we get the inside story about the measles, Apollo 13 and how Ken Mattingly wound up on the crew for the penultimate flight to the Moon.

Apollo 16 crew: Thomas K. Mattingly II, John W. Young, Charles M. Duke Jr.

Plus, space historian Andy Chaikin joins Dave to talk about the crew, especially John Young, who was the only NASA astronaut to fly on Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle missions, including the maiden flight of the Columbia. You'll also hear about Charlie Duke's amazing country music tapes that he took on the voyage!

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.