Alfred Merrill “Al” Worden, 85, who travelled to space in 1971 as part of the mission, was a part of a stamp scandal that caused controversy on the crew’s return. Led by spacecraft commander David Scott, the crew were found to have brought a book of stamps into space with them to sell on their return as collectors items (scroll down to watch the interview).
Appearing on the show Good Morning Britain to discuss the historic mission, the mood quickly turned sour when the Good Morning Britain presenter asked about his role in the incident.
“There was a little scandal about your trip though, Al, because when you took some stamps and took some envelopes that you wanted to bring back…
Interrupting, Al shot back: “Why do you want to talk about that?”
Al Worden believes that we are aliens that traveled to earth from a different planet, he gave his unique views on space travel, and the possibility of alien life.
Taken aback, Ben tried to defend his line of questioning, explaining that it was a part of the mission many remember:
“I think it’s part of the trip that people will remember as well because it wasn’t something that had happened before.
I think previous trips had taken some pieces up which had then been sold. It’s just on your trip, you guys got hauled over hot coals for it.”
But Al also took exception to Ben’s use of “you guys”, implying that it was a crew-wide scheme, explaining coldly that it was the crew leader’s plan, rather than his. He said:
“It was the commander on the flight who did all that.”
The interview continued in a more warm fashion afterwards with Al discussing his career with NASA.
The Apollo 15 crew were punished by NASA after it emerged 398 stamps were taken aboard their trip to the moon, with the profits made intended for their children’s education funds.
But when it emerged that 100 of the stamps were sold to a German collector NASA intervened, confiscating the stamps and reprimanding the crew.
Finally, a court case in 1983 led to their return, with one of the stamps sold most recently for $15,000.
85 year old former NASA astronaut Al Worden giving an interview to Good Morning Britain.