Red, White, and Blue

Painting Completed July 2006
11 x 13 1/2 inches, Textured Acryllic with Moondust on Aircraft Plywood

The space program truly represents what is great with America. When I was an astronaut I felt each day that I had accepted a responsibility to do the right thing professionally in everything that I did. I was not alone in this as I saw this "right stuff" code everywhere. It was a good feeling to know that all those around me were dedicated to making our nationŐs space exploration effort as good as it could possibly be. This red, white and blue feeling and theme carried over into everything we did.

For example, the upper left hose connector on my suit that allowed temperature controlled water from my backpack to flow into and out of the liquid cooled garment I wore inside my suit was blue. The middle hose connector was blue also and it allowed life-giving oxygen under pressure to flow into my suit while the red connector below it allowed the unbreathed oxygen to return to my backpack while restricting the flow just enough to maintain a 3.7 psi suit pressure. Other red, white, and blue connectors allowed communications, and emergency oxygen to be available, and this was just my suit.

As the Lunar Module Pilot, all my dehydrated food packets had little blue velcro tabs attached so I could keep my food from floating off in zero g. Pete Conrad, the Commander, had red velcro tabs, and Dick Gordon, the command module pilot ate the food with white velcro. So, too, with our washcloths, towels, and other personal items.

Everyday I feel fortunate to have been part of our nationŐs space exploration programs. I have noticed that all of us who worked and contributed to space exploration feel pretty much the same. If we astronauts, engineers, scientists, flight controllers, trainers, senior, middle, and junior managers, everyone at NASA and at our contractors cut ourselves I believe we would all bleed red, white and blue.