Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wings of Heroes Gala 9/22/12

Commander K. and Hugh Allen, Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Wings of Heroes Gala event held on 9/22/12 at the Museum of Flight (see earlier post, Museum of Flight, 7/9/12) in Seattle Washington.  The gala was intended to benefit the educational efforts of the Museum of Flight -- one of the premiere aviation museums in the world.   A galaxy of superstars from the space race were in attendance.

Gala attendees were piped in to dinner
Valery Kubasov, a Soviet cosmonaut and the the first man to walk in space was there.  Jim Lovell, commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, was in attendance.  Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, gave a moving tribute to his friend Neil Armstrong.  Mark Armstrong, Neil's son, spoke movingly and with good humor about his late father.  Once when Mark was in the car with his dad David Bowie's song "Space Oddity (see below) came on the radio..."Ground Control to Major Tom".  Neil immediately got upset with the song, turned off the radio and pointed out that proper procedure would dictate that the caller identify the recipient first.   The lyrics should, therefore, have been "Major Tom, this is Ground Control"!

Buzz Aldrin, Museum of Flight, Seattle,WA
In 1957 the Soviets launched a beach ball-sized object called Sputnik into earth's orbit.  Yuri Gargarin was the first man launched into space orbit in 1961 on the Vosktok spacecraft.  The cold war space race was on.

Wings of Heroes, MOF, Seattle WA
In the just released White House tapes made secretly by JFK there was this disclosure: "In a meeting in November 1962, the president bluntly told James Webb, the NASA administrator, that putting a man on the moon was his top priority. Webb said it was more important to understand the environment of space, prompting Kennedy to say, 'If we get second to the Moon, it’s nice, but it’s like being second anytime.'

Do you remember Astronauts riding these in ticker tape parades?
Webb continued to push back, prompting the president to spell it out: “I’m not that interested in space," he said, only in beating the Russians." Source: http://www.bendbulletin.com/article/20120923/NEWS0107/209230388/.

Neil Armstrong, 1930 - 2012
Today space exploration has evolved away from competition between nation states into a commercial marketplace with multiple players such as Space-Ex and Richard Branson's Virgin Space.  A sub-orbital space flight was among the items in the evening's charity auction.

Wing of Heroes Gala
The gala was a benefit to support the mission of the educational programs at the Museum of Flight (see earlier post Museum of Flight, 7/9/12), which is a national treasure located in Seattle.  Here is their web site...http://www.museumofflight.org/.

Commander Kelly, who was in awe of the presence of so many genuine Commanders and heroes from around the globe, would encourage anyone with any interest in aviation and space travel to visit and to support to this worthy cause.  Please consider donating here...https://www.museumofflight.org/forms/donate/.

Special thanks to my friend Hugh Allen for alerting me to the Wings of Heroes Gala event.

You can find Commander Kelly's book America Invades here...www.americainvades.com
or on Amazon.com...www.amzn.com/1940598427

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