Go Blue: We landed on the moon!!!

Submitted by Topher on June 29th, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Talk about some real American heroes...I have been watching Tom Hanks' slick miniseries "From The Earth To The Moon" and it's worth noting how many astronauts in the Apollo program were Michigan alums:

Gemini 4: James McDivitt, Ed White (first American to spacewalk)

Gemini 8: Dave Scott (enrolled at Michigan for one year, enrolled at West Point after that)

Apollo 9:  McDivitt, Scott

Apollo 15: Scott, Al Worden, Jim Irwin

NASA flew 27 manned missions comprising 59 total seats up to and including the last landing, and 12% of those seats were filled by UM alums. A few years back Michigan ran an ad with a very tinny The Victors emerging from an orbiting Apollo 15 command module with the caption "an all-UM crew." Sweet!

Semi-OT: Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell spoke at Tom Hanks' American Film Institute lifetime achievement award presentation. Similar to Scott, Lovell enrolled at Wisconsin for two years before being admitted to Annapolis and a street in Milwaukee is named for him. Check out the look on Hanks' face when Lovell is announced:




June 29th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

The University of Michigan is the only institution that has an Alumni Association on the Moon.

We have a plaque there to prove it.

Leaders and Best - here and the Moon.


June 29th, 2010 at 3:22 PM ^

Not to be a debby downer but the flag/plaque thing on the moon is a rumor that has never been confirmed by anyone. It actually was started, supposedly, by the orientation people as one of their random "facts" while giving tours.




You know the campus legend that says there's a Michigan flag on the Moon? More like this It's not true. Here's what is: Two alumni set foot on the lunar surface on the Apollo 15 mission in 1971. They established a chapter of the University's alumni association on the Moon. They carried with them about 20 flags into orbit.

But according to Harm Buning, a retired aerospace engineering professor who knows the Apollo 15 astronauts personally, rumors of an extraterrestrial block M flag being only one of two along with the U.S. flag are misguided.

Buning said he thinks the rumor started because of the 20 miniature Michigan flags that accompanied the astronauts as they broke the bounds of Earth but never left the spacecraft. Upon their return to Earth, some of the flags were given to the aerospace engineering department. Buning keeps one at his Ann Arbor home. None of the flags ever made it to the lunar surface.


June 29th, 2010 at 4:26 PM ^

Lets not forget Jack Lousma who went through the Ann Arbor public school system, then graduated from Michigan.  He was one of the astronauts selected for Apollo and was in line to fly on Apollo 20 (before being cancelled).  He ended up piloting Skylab 3 and commanding STS-3 (third shuttle flight).


June 29th, 2010 at 7:28 PM ^

I remember being at a game sometime in the mid-70s when they drove the Apollo 15 crew (I think it was) around the stadium in a golf cart, to a thunderous ovation. Those were pretty jaded times, with Watergate and Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger, etc., but all that was forgotten for a few minutes while those guys waved at us and soaked it all in.