Al Worden: Reflections in Lunar Orbit

While fellow astronauts of Apollo 15 explored the lunar surface, Al Worden piloted the command module. His solo journey in lunar orbit lasted three days.Apollo_15_CSM_Endeavour_during_rendezvous I didn’t feel lonely or isolated. I was much more comfortable flying by myself than with others. In fact, I most enjoyed the back side of the moon, where Houston couldn’t get hold of me on the radio. 3770132559_43e9b4aec0_oThe moon looked enormous from such a low orbit. I glimpsed tall central peaks of craters before I saw the surrounding low rims. With no atmosphere to soften the view, every crater and boulder was sharp and crisp. Timocaris_Cr-sharpenedMountains cast long slashes of blackness across the landscape, and features stood out as if I had placed a flashlight against a rough stucco wall. The moon was overwhelmingly majestic, yet stark and mostly devoid of color. Earth riseEvery orbit, however, I was treated to the sight of the distant Earth rising over the lunar landscape. (Pages 188-92, Al Worden, Falling to Earth.)

The Oblivion of Science Fiction

Oblivion epitomizes everything about science fiction that makes the genre frustratingly mediocre at best. oblivion_movie_sky_towerThe biggest problem is the complete lack of originality, beginning with the predictable post-apocalyptic setting first seen in Planet of the Apes – the poor old Statue of Liberty buried yet again;planet of the apesa hodge-podge of futuristic themes, combining The Matrix (machines taking over), Total Recall (memory problems) and Moon (clones running the show); moon_sam_rockwell3the inevitable twist (clones/machines who care) derivative of everything from Terminator to Short Circuit; short circuitand the sickeningly silly ending of the vanquished evil mother-ship, reminiscent of Star Wars and everything since. Cowboys-And-Aliens-570x289While there might be a few decent plot reveals, they always turn to disappointment and the endless parade of effects. In the end, it isn’t anything more than a vehicle for Mr. Cruise. tom-cruise-oblivion-stills-released-02Which leads me to the real question: What’s next? Might he be interested in piloting The Ark?