Astronaut Looking For More Stars

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Astronaut Looking For More Stars
Pachatta Pope

Apollo 15 Astronaut Colonel Al Worden was on the Texas A&M campus on a mission. His mission was to award the Astronaut's Scholarship to Justin Wilson and to encourage students to go beyond the standard.

Worden described how he got started in the space program. He remembers the plan the military had for him that he had to change.

"The Air Force wanted to send me to headquarters and take down a desk job and I didn't think I'd like that very well," Worden said Thursday.

It would be Colonel Worden's desire for more education that lead him right to the prefect assignment. After receiving his Master's degree from the University of Michigan, Worden accepted a teaching position. And while he was teaching, he got a phone call that took him from the classroom to the moon.

The Apollo 15 astronaut says his boss at the time asked him to join him and the other members of the Apollo 15 crew in Houston. That call landed him on the crew of the Apollo 15 space flight. The crew was the fourth, to man a flight headed to the moon.

Worden's assignment on that space flight allowed him to go into orbit to capture history that we appreciate today.

"My photography has been recognized by a lot of people," Colonel Worden said. "If you pick up books that have pictures taken from space, you'll see a lot of my photographs in there."

The success of Apollo 15 and more recent space flights continues to pave the way to even greater achievements for the United States space program, so much so that President Bush would like another crew to return to the moon. Worden would like to see that and more. He thinks it's great idea because it all heads to that space flight headed to Mars.

As chairman of the the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, Colonel Worden has the opportunity to select winners who could possibly become the space program's next astronauts, giving him a hand in the continued success of the space program.