I’m attending Spacefest in Tucson, AZ this week. It’s a gathering of astronauts, engineers, artists, authors, vendors, and space enthusiasts that happens every couple of years. I decided to rent a booth to display my replica spacesuits and other hardware. Today (Thursday) was mostly a setup day, but a few cool things happened. Here are the highlights:
• I set up the 3F Studios booth. Come see me if you’re in the area:
• I ran into Fred Haise, Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 13 (the REAL guy, not Bill Paxton) in the hallway.
• I met a collector who happened to have a real ACR penlight on him that was flown on Apollo 9. We compared it to my replica and the dimensions were nearly spot on!
• Last but not least, I met an amazing man named Ron Woods, who was a technician for ILC during the Apollo program. He suited up Buzz Aldrin before Apollo 11 and packed up the Lunar Module. He is an avid painter nowadays and paints his favorite subject: spacesuits. He told me a story about a foolish technician who put his head inside Buzz Aldrin’s LEVA helmet right before the mission and accidentally touched his nose to the visor. It was the middle of the night so they had wake up all sorts of engineers to figure out the proper procedure to clean it (spray it with freon). I just loved hearing this tiny little detail of perhaps the most significant space mission ever. Mr. Woods also really liked my LEVA replica, which is what prompted the story.
Here’s a picture of Ron Woods suiting up Buzz:
And here is Ron Woods today: