Saturday, April 21, 2012

Forty years ago: 'a big ol' Navy salute.'

Joy - The second of two 'mid-air' salutes. (Detail from AS16-113-18340, April 21, 1972, Apollo 16, EVA 1) by Cmdr. John Young answering Charlie Duke's request that he to pose for a photograph with two jumps, accompanying each with 'a big ole Navy salute.' [NASA/JSC/ALSJ].
From the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal: 120:25:42 "John Young jumps off the ground and salutes for this superb tourist picture. He is off the ground about 1.45 seconds which, in the lunar gravity field, means that he launched himself at a velocity of about 1.17 m/s and reached a maximum height of 0.42 m. Although the suit and backpack weigh as much as he does, his total weight is only about 65 pounds (30 kg) and, to get this height, he only had to bend his knees slightly and then push up with his legs. In the background, we can see the UV astronomy camera, the flag, the LM, the Rover with the TV camera watching John, and Stone Mountain. Journal Contributor Joe Cannaday notes that high-point of John's first jump was at a time close to 120:25:49 and the second was almost exactly three seconds later."

After trading places for Young to capture Duke's 'Air Force salute' Houston passes along 'good news.' The U.S. House of Representatives has authorized the Space Shuttle program. 

Young, who will command the first Space Shuttle mission 9 years later, answers, "Beautiful. Wonderful. The country needs that Shuttle mighty bad. You'll see."

From the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal: "John became the Chief of the Astronaut Office in 1975 and, later, appointed himself to command the first Shuttle flight. STS-1 was 36-orbit mission launched on April 12, 1981, the twentieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's Vostok flight. The pilot - and only other crewmember - on STS-1 was Robert Crippen.".
Landing site of Apollo 16, between North Ray and South Ray craters, northwest of the Descartes Formation ("Stone Mountain, at lower right) in the nearside lunar highlands. Full 52 meter resolution detail from LROC Wide Angle Camera monochrome (604nm) observation M177535094C, LRO orbit 11299, December 3, 2011; angle of incidence 69.4° from 38.2 kilometers altitude [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

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