Politics Magazine

Antelope Valley Businessman Donates Historic Images to Park

Posted on the 27 February 2014 by Jim Winburn @civicbeebuzz

LANCASTER – History of the aerospace industry has left its signature in many public spaces in the Antelope Valley. And sometimes local stakeholders must step up to the challenge of preserving these signs of the past.

Apollo 7 crew member Walter Cunningham - courtesy Larry Hobson

Apollo 7 crew member Walter Cunningham – courtesy Larry Hobson

Featuring three man-made lakes, the 54-acre Apollo Community Regional Park is named in honor of the Apollo 11 astronauts and was dedicated in 1972, according to the Los Angeles County parks site at parks.lacounty.gov.

Hobson recently contributed 12 historic photos and an Apollo 7 flight summary statement to Los Angeles County Parks officials to display at the park.

After the park lost its only real historic artifact, an Apollo test capsule, Hobson hopes that visitors to the public space will gain a closer connection to the park’s namesake through his donated materials.

“Since they didn’t have anything that was from the Apollo Program in the park anymore, I said I would give them pictures of the Apollo 7 flight along with a mission statement from Walter Cunningham to hang on the wall in the park,” he said. “They are looking for the frames to frame them now.”

Having recently checked on the status of displaying his donated memorabilia at the park, Hobson told the Bee that county officials said they were still working out funding “for the framing of the pictures.”

Jon E. Gargan, deputy director of the North Community Services Agency for the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, emailed Hobson earlier in February to tell him he appreciated the donated Apollo 7 memorabilia, saying, “Can’t wait to get all this displayed,” according to an email shared with the Bee.

Apollo 7 crew Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham, and Wally Schirra - courtesy Larry Hobson

Apollo 7 crew Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham, and Wally Schirra – courtesy Larry Hobson

“The crew was charged with testing their sextant’s calibration; spacecraft attitude control, evaporator, and navigation systems; rendezvous radar by rendezvousing with their S-IVB upper stage during their first two days in orbit; thermal control system; and service module propulsion systems,” Hobson said in an email. “They were also the first crew to do a live television broadcast from orbit, something Schirra had unwillingly agreed to do.”

An excerpt from the Apollo 7 Flight Summary, written by Walter Cunningham, stated: “On 11 October 1968, I sat in the second-generation Apollo spacecraft on Pad 34 at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, about to embark on the first manned mission of the Apollo Program to land a man on the Moon. In the cockpit with me were Donn Eisele and Mercury Astronaut Wally Schirra, our Mission Commander. Apollo 7 was, in every sense, an ‘engineering test flight’ and the culmination of three long years of training together as a crew.”

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For more information on the Apollo 7 Mission, visit waltercunningham.com.

AVBizPro is sponsoring its first public event 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28, featuring a discussion on the 2014 Business Climate from community and civic leaders, while donating a portion of the proceeds to Veterans for America. For more information on this event, visit facebook.com/events.

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