Golf on the Moon

21 junio 2007

At age 47, and the oldest astronaut in the program, Alan Shepard made his second space flight as commander of Apollo 14, January 31–February 9, 1971, man's third successful lunar landing mission. While on the Moon, Shepard played golf with a Wilson six-iron head attached to a lunar sample scoop handle. Despite thick gloves and a stiff spacesuit which forced him to swing the club with one hand only, Shepard struck two golf balls, driving the second, as he put it "miles and miles and miles". This is NASA's official transcription:

Shepard: (Facing the TV) Houston, while you're looking that up, you might recognize what I have in my hand as the handle for the contingency sample return; it just so happens to have a genuine six iron on the bottom of it. In my left hand, I have a little white pellet that's familiar to millions of Americans. I'll drop it down. Unfortunately, the suit is so stiff, I can't do this with two hands, but I'm going to try a little sand-trap shot here. (Pause)

[Jones - "He topped and buried it on the first swing. I assume that the six-iron was snuck on board."]

Mitchell: You got more dirt than ball that time.

Shepard: Got more dirt than ball. Here we go again.

[Al's second swing pushes the ball about 2 or 3 feet, mostly along the line toward the TV camera, rather than along the line of the swing.]

Haise: That looked like a slice to me, Al.

Shepard: Here we go. Straight as a die; one more. (Long Pause)

[Al's third swing finally connects and sends the ball off-camera to the right, apparently on a fairly low trajectory. He drops a second ball, which rolls left and toward the TV camera. Al gets himself in position and connects again. The trajectory of this shot appears to be similar to the previous one.]

Shepard: Miles and miles and miles.

Haise: Very good, Al.