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Blue Dot: Apollo 17@50 Part 2: the final lunar voyage of the Apollo program

Apollo 17 image of Earth: "The Blue Marble"
NASA
Apollo 17 image of Earth: "The Blue Marble"

We conclude our Apollo @50 series of looks at the Apollo missions to the Moon with looks back and forward. With the recent success of the uncrewed Artemis 1 lunar orbital mission, Dave talks to NASA's first female Chief Flight Director, Holly Ridings, who is now a Deputy Manager for the Artemis Gateway component that will set up an orbital space station for future lunar missions.

The day that Artemis 1 splashed down was, to the day, 50 years after Apollo 17 landed on the Moon on December 11, 1972. The lessons learned from Apollo are key to the future success of Artemis, named for Apollo's sister in mythology. Dave talks to Tracy Cernan Woolie, the daughter of Apollo 17's commander Gene Cernan about her late father, the last human being to walk on the Moon.

Other guests include Dee O'Hara, the astronaut's nurse, who got to go with the crew on their post-flight around the world tour, Apollo historian Andrew Chaikin puts the mission in context and discusses how Artemis benefits from the Apollo program, and Apollo 17's Lead Flight Director Gerry Griffin offers his insights into Apollo 17 and the legacy of Apollo's lunar explorations.

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.