Astronaut visits Huntsville, looks back at Apollo 11 mission

Al Worden was part of the support crew on Apollo 9, backup crew on Apollo 12, and he flew as Command Module Pilot on Apollo 15 in 1971.

Posted: Jul 15, 2019 7:30 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2019 10:40 PM

An Apollo 15 astronaut, Al Worden, looks back at the first successful moon landing and calls it the most important human accomplishment the world has ever seen. He tells WAAY 31 he was surprised the mission was a success. 

"You know, something is going to happen, I just know something is going to say, 'Neil you can't land, you are going to have to abort, come home, and Pete Conrad on 12 is going to be the first to walk on the moon,'" Worden said. 

Worden was part of the support crew on Apollo 9, backup crew on Apollo 12, and he flew as Command Module Pilot on Apollo 15 in 1971.

Worden was part of multiple Apollo missions and came to the Rocket City to share his stories, and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

He was inside an airplane in California, visiting a manufacturer for the command module, when he started listening to the radio broadcast of Apollo 11.

"I sat there for an hour, while they descended and landed on the surface of the moon. I'm sitting on an airplane in California. I thought that was pretty cool," Worden said. 

Two years later, Worden went to the moon himself. As the Command Module Pilot, Worden orbited the moon for six days and spacewalked into deep space, a new milestone for human space exploration. To him, Apollo 11 didn't bring just the United States together.

"It brought the world together, I think everybody was focused more on Neil Armstrong, setting foot on the moon than they were about provincial problems," Worden said. 

Worden has his eyes set on the next big space mission now, and says he hopes in the future, countries will work together to explore space.

Check out more of our Apollo 11 50th anniversary stories here. To watch our Apollo 11 specials, click here and here.

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