In Flight

Elevated view of the Apollo 14 LM with a golf ball flying by the observer

Painting Completed 1990
20 x 30 inches, Acrylic on Masonite

As Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell were winding up their second moonwalk, Al turned toward the television camera. "Houston, you might recognize what I have in my right hand as the handle for the contingency return sample. It just happens to have a genuine six iron attached to the end. In my left hand, I have two little white pellets that are familiar to millions of Americans. I drop one down in front of me." Al faced the ball and began a modified backswing. "Unfortunately, the suit is so stiff, I can't do this with two hands, but I'm going to try a little sand trap shot here."

With the Apollo space suit, a smooth arm and hand motion is impossible and Al just topped the ball. It rolled into a small crater a few yards away. Ed Mitchell observed, "Hey, you got more dirt than ball that time". As the whole world watched on television, Al dropped the second ball, "Well, here we go again," and took his best swing. Dirt and dust flew, the ball disappeared, and Al exclaimed, "Miles and miles and miles."

As Al would say later, "The fun with the golf shot certainly had to be the greatest thrill. It was a one handed shot and I wasn't able to make a very big turn on the backswing, so the clubhead didn't come through the ball with a lot of zip. But due to the conditions there, the ball ended up traveling 200 yards and probably had a flight time of 15 seconds."

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