While one MOAA member splashed down after a history-making trip to space, another is preparing for takeoff.
NASA astronaut Col. Doug Hurley, USMC (Ret.), returned to Earth on Sunday from the International Space Station, completing the first crewed mission launched from the United States since 2011. The mission paves the way for future crewed missions, which will include NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, a retired Army colonel and, like Hurley, a MOAA member.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/as-one-moaa-member-returns-from-space,-another-prepares-for-liftoff/
They’ve soared high in fighter jets and served under the sea in submarines, but now military-trained astronauts could prepare for a new, out-of-this-world destination: Mars.
Eleven new NASA astronauts – including seven who started their careers in the military – recently graduated from NASA’s rigorous two-year basic training. It’s the first class of astronauts to graduate under the Artemis program, which will be NASA’s return to the moon (NASA’s aiming for 2024) and journeys to Mars.
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Brig. Gen. Charlie Duke, USAF (Ret), braced himself as Apollo 16 descended to the moon’s crater-covered surface in April 1972.
On edge after noticing strange vibrations in the command module engine, the crew was forced to pause their descent and circle the moon for several hours as they waited for guidance from Mission Control in Houston. Scientists back on Earth analyzed data — and finally permitted Apollo 16 to proceed toward the moon.
“Pete, 16 here,” said Duke, relaying a message from Apollo 16 to Donald “Pete” Peterson, the communicator at Mission Control. “Looking through the telescope at the Earth. It’s sure apparent that we live on a pretty planet. The colors are … more vivid than any of the photographs.”
Nearly 50 years later, Duke is part of a small — but growing — fellowship of military officers who have united the country through space exploration.
Read my story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/the-first-person-to-walk-on-mars-could-be-an-officer/