David Chudwin, the author of the award-winning “I Was a Teenage Space Reporter,” met with five of the surviving American astronauts who went to the Moon at a space convention in Tuscon, Arizona on 8 -11 August.
He presented a copy of his book to Apollo 11 astronaut Mike Collins during this, the 50thAnniversary celebration of Apollo 11, the first landing on the Moon. General Collins remained in orbit above the Moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed.
“It was a special thrill to be at his table for the luncheon and to be able to gift him with my book. General Collins has long been one of my personal heroes,” Chudwin said.
Two of the four living astronauts who walked on the Moon (out of 12 originally) also attended Spacefest, an annual meeting of astronauts, scientists, artists, educators, authors and space enthusiasts. Chudwin had the opportunity to present a copy of “I Was a Teenage Space Reporter” to Apollo 15 commander Dave Scott, the only surviving pilot of the six Apollo missions that landed on the Moon.
Astronaut Charlie Duke played a special role in Project Apollo. He was the CAPCOM (the capsule communicator who relayed messages to the astronauts) for both Apollo 10 and Apollo 11. He was the link between Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and Mission Control as they made the first landing on the Moon on 20 July 1969. After the nail-biting landing, Duke told Armstrong and Aldrin, “Roger, Tranquility, we copy you down. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again.”
Duke went on to walk on the Moon himself in 1972 as the Apollo 16 lunar module pilot. Years later Duke wrote an “advance praise” for “I Was a Teenage Space Reporter” and was pleased to receive a copy of the book from Chudwin.
Two other Apollo astronauts who voyaged to the Moon wrote “advance praises” were also at the meeting. Fred Haise was aboard the Apollo 13 spacecraft on the way to the Moon in 1970 when an explosion in an oxygen tank in the service module aborted the mission. The struggle to rescue the crew and bring them safely to Earth was recounted in the Ron Howard movie “Apollo 13” where actor Bill Paxton portrayed Haise.
Chudwin also met with Apollo 15 command module pilot Al Worden, who circled the Moon while Dave Scott and Jim Irwin landed in 1971.
As a result of his Apollo 11 experiences, Chudwin was recently interviewed on television by CNN, CBS News, and WGN-TV. He has done numerous radio interviews with a variety of stations including the BBC.
“I Was a Teenage Space Reporter” is published by LID Publishing and is available at all the major online booksellers in the US, UK, and Australia. It is for sale in some bookstores including selected Barnes & Noble stores in the US and Foyles in the UK.