Friday, 18 October 2013

An honour

Meeting Captain Alan Bean, astronaut (retd)

This past weekend I was in the presence of a truly great and inspirational man. Thanks to the efforts of Ken Willoughby, and Space Lectures, Mr Norfolkbookworm and I had the opportunity to go and hear one of only 12 men to walk on the moon speak.

It may have been a little crazy to drive from Norwich to Pontefract for a 90 minute talk but in the week that we lost another space legend (Scott Carpenter - fourth American in space) it seemed like the right thing to do.

Captain Bean flew on Apollo 12 and also on the second Skylab mission but his talk was not a dry "we did this, then we did that" lecture it was profound, poignant, fascinating and funny. One of the other audience members has done a wonderful job transcribing the event and if you'd like to see what caused me to have a huge lump in my throat and to join in a spontaneous standing ovation I reccommend having a read. It isn't a dry nerdy thing at all and you need no particular knowledge of the space programme to enjoy it.

After the talk Captain Bean signed autographs for the audience and spent a few moments with everyone in the queue - all 470 of us...

I felt as start stuck as a teenager meeting One Direction!

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