VUSSP, the Virtual United States Space Program, has announced that their Apollo 19 missing has been moved up to late October and a new crew has been announced. For full details, click on Read More.
Originally scheduled for launch in mid to late December 2005, the Apollo 19 mission has been moved up to launch on October 30, 2005 at 6:30 am EST. The primary and back-up crews of the mission have taken on a new face as well as a new mentality, which has given it an entirely new face. The primary crew now consists of:
- Commander (CDR) Matthew Nowaczewski
- Command Module Pilot (CMP) Kaimoni Sutton
- Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) Steve LeDuke
Kaimoni was placed into the primary crew as an emergency-back up crew member who was not originally scheduled to fly on this mission.
"I wanted to take some time off and allow myself to run the administrative side of the VUSSP while it gets back on its feet before jumping back into the seat of a spacecraft, however, when both the original primary and backup crew members drop out and there arent any other people as qualified as them who can be available for a mission scheduled so soon, then one has no choice but to take a hit for the organization and step up. Despite my initial reluctance to join the Apollo 19 crew because of administrative duties, I am more than ecstatic about having a seat on the VUSSP's first manned lunar mission. Its hard to believe that just a week ago, when speaking with the original primary crew that after changing the mission plan from a lunar orbital to a lunar landing mission and approving the change, that I would wind up landing a spot on that mission. Its a great feeling to know that I am on one of the first crews devoted and dedicated to landing VUSSP astronauts on the moon, the final step before we set our sights on Mars." said CMP Kaimoni Sutton when asked about how he felt to be placed on the mission on such short notice.
The original Apollo 19 plans called for a lunar orbital mission, however, it was decided that Apollo 19 would be the VUSSP's first lunar landing instead of the originally planned Apollo 20 mission. It was also decided that the mission would be carried out in October instead of December or January because of the staff's efforts to get the VUSSP back on its feet after being out of operation for a year.
As the VUSSP continues to pick up steam, even greater feats in both the manned and unmanned realm of spaceflight will be attained. Until then, the VUSSP continues to pioneer exploration of the universe through its manned and unmanned programs, giving us a glimpse into the vast world beyond the reach of Earth that we live in.