I have been a huge space fan for as long as I can remember. My first recollections were of the first Mercury flights as well as John Glenn's mission. My fascination carried on through Gemini and then to Apollo.
I am thankful to have parents who recognized my interest in the space program. In July of 1971 our family traveled from Ottawa Canada, where I still live, to Florida and I visited the Kennedy Space Center for the first time. Over the course of five summers we made the trip to Cocoa Beach and visited the Kennedy Space Center several times.
One of my biggest thrills was seeing Apollo 15 on pad 39A and then to witness the launch. In August of 1975 I was again lucky to witness the launch of Viking 1 to Mars. I also had the good fortune to meet Jim Lovell, who autographed a scrapbook that I still have today.
My interest in Apollo has not let up over the years. I continue to read books and re-read my own collection, learning more each time. A few years ago, when my day job in graphic design moved into the 3D field, I began modeling in my spare time the Apollo 16 landing site from a contour map included in the publication "On the Moon with Apollo 16". This of course led to modeling the LM...and then an Apollo astronaut...and then the Lunar Rover.
The ProjectApollo Yahoo group has been very helpful in my research. It was there that I met Karl Dodenhoff, who has shared his many diagrams and images of the Rover. This group also put me in touch with Eric Jones and Ron Creel. Ron was one of the original Rover Design Team members. When I visited the Moon Buggy Races in Huntsville in April 2005, I met Ron, along with some other Rover Team members. Ron continues to be a great supporter of my work and I am very happy to be working with him on a Lunar Rover educational simulation.
(The people in the accompanying photo, left to right, are Ron Creel, LRV Thermal Design Team member, me in the middle, and LRV Project Manager Saverio (Sonny) Morea at the 12th Annual Moonbuggy Races in Huntsville, Alabama at the US Space and Rocket Center.)
Over this past year (2005) I have been contributing animations and images to the ALSJ. It is my hope to continue to find answers to some of the many questions I have about Apollo, and to be able to share this knowledge with Journal readers.
November 2005 Editor's Note: Check out Don's ALSJ Virtual LRV contributions and his website.