Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) is celebrating ciWeek, or Celebrate! Innovation Week, and the college’s Carroll campus joined in by welcoming former astronaut, Al Worden, to speak. Worden, who served as the Command Module Pilot during the Apollo 15 mission, spoke to approximately 150 people Monday afternoon, ranging in age from under five years old to over 70. Worden set two world records during his trip to lunar orbit. He performed the first deep-space spacewalk and became the most isolated individual in mankind’s history. After his crewmates, Dave Scott and Jim Irwin, descended to the moon’s surface, he was, at times, more than 2,000 miles away from the nearest human. Worden says he does not think much of his records, but admits he was glad to spend some time to himself after spending several days crammed into only a few hundred cubic feet.
His second record was set during the return journey to Earth as he exited the spacecraft to retrieve film canisters before reentry. Worden quipped that neither is really a world record because they were completed in space and told the crowd it is difficult to put into words what being that far away from our planet is like. He says it changes the way you perceive the universe.
After speaking for about 45 minutes, Worden took questions from the crowd before leaving to speak at DMACC’s West Campus. Provost, Joel Lundstrum, says they are proud to be able to bring speakers like him to Carroll.
This is the 10th anniversary of ciWeek at DMACC. Former Facebook Executive, Randi Zuckerberg, Apollo 13 Astronaut, Fred Haise, Ben and Jerry’s Co-Founder, Jerry Greenfield, and much more are on the schedule to speak in West Des Moines this week. More information on ciWeek can be found by following the link included with this story on our website.