The Villages - July 2019 - 17

NASA FILE PHOTO

THE SIX MISSIONS THAT LANDED ON THE MOON RETURNED A WEALTH
OF SCIENTIFIC DATA AND ALMOST 400 KILOGRAMS OF LUNAR SAMPLES.
EXPERIMENTS INCLUDED SOIL MECHANICS, METEOROIDS, SEISMIC, HEAT FLOW,
LUNAR RANGING, MAGNETIC FIELDS, AND SOLAR WIND EXPERIMENTS.
"It was 14-hour days and, at times,
seven days a week," Frank said. "I met
some very interesting and smart people,
and I got to know and work with some of
the astronauts - they accepted me because I was a pilot and I flew military and
NASA aircraft, so they figured, 'Hey, we
can communicate with this guy.'"
Frank worked in systems integration
for several of the Apollo spacecraft, and he
often was present for launches at Cape Canaveral. There even was one instance where
he was able to go inside the Apollo Command Module atop the Saturn V rocket on
the gantry - a somewhat terrifying experience, he says.
"I was up in the command module only once for some
checks," Frank said. "It wasn't fueled at the time, and being empty, it flexed and swayed in the ocean breezes. The
entrance hatch is going back and forth relative to the fixed
launch tower and you're over 480 feet above ground level.
I got in and the whole 364-foot stack was creaking and I
thought it was going to fall over. I tell you, it scared me for
a bit. For those astronauts, it doesn't bother them, but for
me, for the first experience, that was something."
During this time, Frank met Peggy at NASA
meetings while she was a secretary for a NASA
program manager. Frank said he and Peggy often interacted during NASA meetings as well as
at church-sponsored social and charity activities
that Frank facilitated for local churches.
One of Frank's work crew tactfully asked why the two were not
married already, and it dawned on
Frank to ask the same question.
"I thought he'd never ask,"
Peggy said.
Peggy and Frank married
shortly after, and the pair recently celebrated their 50th wedding
anniversary earlier this year.
After marrying, they traveled
the country as Frank moved jobs a
few times until he was called back
to NASA as a project engineer and
manager, where he again worked

on integrating the many onboard systems and various
experiment-related components on the space shuttle. He
also trained astronauts on how to operate experiments and
equipment on board the shuttle in preparation for their assigned mission flights.
Later, Frank joined the astronaut crew scheduled to
make the first night landing by managing the design and
flight testing the necessary landing aides and procedures
which he says are now in use at all commercial and military
airports in the U.S.
Frank says he had a long and fulfilling career in the
space program, and he thanks God for the opportunities he
was given.
"Throughout all these experiences, I became a person of
great faith," Frank said. "There were opportunities where
I was able to be helpful and useful and that was a wonderful feeling. There were many places where I could train
people that I knew could help save their lives. I felt
as though God was leading me on a path before
unseen - I thought I was going to be
a college professor
teaching physics or a
Navy pilot involved
in flight research!
My life has been on a
path that I had very little
influence upon, and I'm
so grateful."
For Frank and Peggy,
the 50th anniversary of
the moon landing means so
much more.

MAGAZINE

17



The Villages - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - July 2019

Contents
The Villages - July 2019 - Cover1
The Villages - July 2019 - Contents
The Villages - July 2019 - 1
The Villages - July 2019 - 2
The Villages - July 2019 - 3
The Villages - July 2019 - 4
The Villages - July 2019 - 5
The Villages - July 2019 - 6
The Villages - July 2019 - 7
The Villages - July 2019 - 8
The Villages - July 2019 - 9
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The Villages - July 2019 - 11
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The Villages - July 2019 - 16
The Villages - July 2019 - 17
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