PastureGolf.com celebrates the 35th Anniversary
of the launch of Apollo 14 with this retrospective: A series of
historical photographs from the 1971 Apollo 14 lunar mission commanded
by Astronaut Alan B. Shepard
|First golfer on the moon is he,
Yet mad enough to pop.
Because of the lack of gravity,
The poor lads putt won't drop.
- Richard Armour, Golf Is a Four-Letter Word (1962)
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years have passed since our most famous amateur golfer astronaut, Alan
B. Shepard, Jr., described the exagerrated distance of his moon shot as
miles and miles and miles. Those famous words followed a one-handed
golf swing with a rigged up six iron on the moon. (See
quotes) The first swing was reported to be a duff, but the next connected.
Although Shepard fired off those two
golf balls in moon gravity which is about one-sixth of earth's (moon
fact sheet), they did not go miles and miles and miles. Shepard later
appended his estimate to drive distances in the 200 to 400 yard range.
Still, not bad with one hand and encumbered by a suit that prevented a
good pivot on the swing. See the golf ball hit by
Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, and the javelin tossed by Edgar D. Mitchell.
View of full moon from Apollo 11
Shepard, the first American in space, commanded Apollo 14 at age 47
in 1971. As the oldest astronaut to walk on the moon, his back-up crew
characterized him as a grey bearded Wiley Coyote. During the Apollo
14 Moon Mission from January 31, 1971 (blast off 4:03:02 P.M. EST) to
February 9, 1971, Shepard spent 33 hours on the surface of the moon which
included time for a couple of golf shots that were out of this world!
Here is a series of photographs with
text from NASA Archives that will transport all of you who are of a certain
older generation back to the hey-day of America's moon missions. For those
youngsters who stumble across this collection of photographs from Apollo
14, maybe you will get a sense of the excitement of discovery that whirled
around space exploration in the decades of the '60's and early '70's.
(Source of Photographs: NASA Archives)
|| NASA Photo ID: S71-17620 Film Type: 4x5 Date Taken:
01/31/71 Fish-eye view of the launch of the 363-foot tall Apollo 14
(spacecraft 110/Lunar Module 8/Saturn 509) space vehicle from Pad
A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 4:03:02 p.m.,
January 31, 1971. This view of the liftoff was taken by a camera mounted
on the mobile launch tower; View of the Apollo 14 launch taken from
the bottom of the launch tower.
||NASA Photo ID: S70-18740 Film Type: 4x5 BW Date Taken:
09/01/70 This lunar map shows the landing areas for the Apollo manned
lunar landing missions that have been accomplised and the locations
of six candidate sites for the remainder of the Apollo flights. Those
indicated are Sea of Tranquility (Apollo 11), Ocean of Storms (Apollo
12), Fra Mauro (Apollo 14), Hadley/Apennines (Apollo 15), and Marius
Hills, Descartes, Davy and Copernicus.
||NASA Photo ID: S70-49764 Film Type: 120mm BW Date Taken:
12/01/70 A photographic illustration showing a near vertical view
of the Apollo 14 landing site located in the Fra Mauro highlands on
the lunar nearside. The predicted landing point is 17 degrees 29 minutes
46 seconds west longitude and 3 degrees 40 minutes 19 seconds south
latitude. Cone Crater is at lower right. North is toward the right
side of the picture (Cone Crater being located near the northeast
corner of photo). The landing point is between Triplet Crater and
Doublet Crater in the center of the picture.
|| NASA Photo ID: S70-50764 Film Type: 4x5 BW Date Taken:
09/01/70 This lunar map shows the traverse plans for the Apollo 14
lunar landing mission. Areas marked include Lunar module landing site,
areas for the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP) and
areas for gathering of core samples.
|| NASA Photo ID: AS14-66-9230 Film Type:
70mm Date Taken: 02/05/71 Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., Apollo 14
commander, shades his eyes from the sun during the Apollo 14 extravehicular
activity (EVA) on the Moon. This photograph was taken by Astronaut
Edgar D. Mitchell, lunar module pilot, through the window of the Lunar
||NASA Photo ID: AS14-66-9340 Film Type: 70mm Date Taken:
02/06/71 A view from inside the Lunar Module following the second
Apollo 14 extravehicular activity (EVA-2). At the left foreground
is the Modularized Equipment Transporter (MET). Tracks made by the
two-wheeled Rickshaw-type cart can be seen in the left background.
The Apollo 35mm stereo close-up camera lies next to the MET, near
a shadow of the erectable S-band Antenna. The area is covered with
footprints made by Astronauts Alan B. Shepard JR., comander; and Edgar
D. Mitchell, lunar module pilot.
||NASA Photo ID: AS14-66-9337 Film Type: 70mm Date Taken:
02/06/71 View shows the javelin and golf ball used by Astronaut Alan
B. Shepard Jr., Apollo 14 commander, during the mission's second extravehicular
activity (EVA-2) on Feb. 6, 1971. Just to the left of center lies
the javelin, with the golf ball just below it, almost perpendicular
to it. Dark colored trails are the results of tracks made by the lunar
overshoes of the astronauts and the wheels of the Modularized Equipment
Transporter (MET). This photograph was made through the right window
of the Lunar Module, looking northwest. (Dialogue
regarding javelin throw with the SWC staff by Edgar D. Mitchell in
Lunar Surface Journal transcript).
||NASA Photo ID: S71-16637 Film Type: 4x5 Date Taken:
01/27/71 A close-up view of the plaque which the Apollo 14 crew will
leave behind on the Moon during their lunar landing mission. The seven
by nine-inch stainless steel plaque will be attached to the ladder
on the landing gear strut on the Lunar Module's descent stage.
from Apollo 14 Lunar Surface Journal - Nice Day for a Game of Golf
135:08:17 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 - "In his suit pocket."]
135:08:53 Mitchell: You got more dirt than ball that time.
135:08:58 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.]
135:09:01 Haise: That looked like a slice to me, Al.
135:09:03 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.]
135:09:20 Shepard: Miles and miles and miles.
135:09:26 Haise: Very good, Al.
135:09:27 Haise: And (to) answer Ed's question earlier there; Kilo-Kilo
was used for the window shots, Ed; so, you ought to bring it back.
135:09:43 Shepard: Yeah, that's right. We got some of that to start
with, didn't we?
135:09:46 Mitchell: Yeah.
135:09:49 Shepard: (Garbled). (Long Pause)
[Al removes the club head. He brought it home and it is currently on
display at the US Golf Association Hall of Fame in New Jersey.]
135:10:14 Mitchell: How many films (means "frames") did we take with
this (close-up camera)? Eleven, Huh? 135:10:17 Shepard: Ah. Approximately.
135:10:20 Mitchell: 17. Okay. (Pause)
[Al is putting the club head in his thigh pocket. Ed has removed the
close-up camera from the MET and has placed it on the ground.]
135:10:30 Haise: Okay, Ed; Houston.
Apollo 14 Photo Index
Plaque which the Apollo 14 crew planned to leave behind
on the Moon
Launch of the 363-foot tall Apollo 14
Lunar map shows the Apollo landing areas
Lunar map shows the traverse plans for the Apollo 14
Apollo 14 landing site located in Fra Mauro region
View of Modularized Equipment Transporter used on Apollo
Alan B. Shepard, Jr. shades eyes from sun
Javelin and golf ball used by Astronaut Alan B. Shepard,
More Apollo 14, Space and Other Related
Shepard - Time Magazine
from Apollo 14 Lunar Surface Journal
Apollo Gallery - NASA Archival Photographic Images
Photos - Image of the Day Gallery
Human Space Flight Gallery
NASA - National Aeronautics
and Space Administration
Moon Trees - Location of trees grown from seeds that went up with Apollo
Six Iron on Display - US Golf Association Golf House Museum
President Kennedy and staff watching Alan
Shepard become the first astronaut in space
Astonishing collection of historical
photographs includes scenes of famous, influential, even powerful
people who risked everything, their positions in society and government,
their self-respect, their fame and fortune, to be seen playing the
game of golf. (Click for More)
Links to Other Pasture Golf Features
WPA New Deal
Golf Courses That
Elusive Ace: the Hole-in-One and who's been there, done that
Alan Shepard - A Golfer Out
of this World Cleeks
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