Monday, January 14, 2008
1953 Series B Goes to the Moon Aboard Apollo 15
This 1953 Series B bill flew together with the crew of Apollo 15 on the ninth manned mission of the Apollo program, and the fourth mission to land man on the moon. Tom went on what was the first of the "J" missions -- long duration stays on the moon with a greater focus on science than had been possible on previous missions. This was also the first mission with the LRV, or Lunar Rover Vehicle (also known as the moon car). Tom left Earth with the crew (Dave Scott, mission Commander; Jim Irwin, Lunar Module Pilot; and Al Worden, Command Module Pilot) on July 26, 1971. He remained in lunar orbit with Al Worden, while Dave Scott and Jim Irwin ventured down to the lunar surface on July 26, 1971. (Dave and Jim took some $2 bills down to the lunar surface with them as well; sadly, those bills were forgotten on the lunar surface. Who knows? If mankind ever returns to the moon, someone could give those Toms a lift back home!)Lunar-orbit-Tom and Al spent over 66 hours and 54 minutes alone in the Command Module, circling the moon. When the two moonwalkers returned, Tom and the crew headed home, landing in the Pacific Ocean on August 7, 1971, after over 295 hours in space, and after spending a total of 145 hours in lunar orbit! This bill, serial number A70489989A, is surely one well traveled Tom! Upon return the crew signed the backs of each of the 49 such flown bills to verify their flight status.