Tag Archives: Paul Calle

Andy Chaikin, Apollo author and historian


Andrew Chaikin, Apollo author and historian talks about the future of space exploration and how he feels quite possibly that there is life on other planets. He talks about how he would not want to go to Mars because of how it’s a 3 year round trip there and back. He says he is fascinated with Mars  though and the possibility that in the past Mars may have had life.  Andy said that he would like to go to the Moon. He always thought of going to the Moon when he was young because he wanted to see what the Earth was like from the Moon or from space.  Seeing the Earth from Space for me would be amazing because I would be staring at that little blue marble millions of miles away.  I would be  knowing that everyone that I know and all the people that I don’t know and my house and family is there so far away that it seems like a light year away.


Chaikin talks about a gentlemen from England who was hired by NASA to make a zipper for the space suits. I feel that he speaks about how the Apollo team was a huge team effort. There were tons of people that you’ve never heard about and probably never will hear about. Andy had the same idea as the book Team Moon that there are many unsung heroes of the Apollo space missions..  You could do a ton of research on the Apollo project and yet not hear about thousands of peoples stories. I suppose everyone who worked on the space program has an interesting story to tell and they have only passed their story on to a few people.


This is a drawing my father did for the 40th Anniversary of the final Apollo Moon mission, Apollo 17, it shows Gene Cernan, the last man on the Moon.







The Suits for Space


Reading the book Team Moon, It was very interesting learning about the space suits and how they were made.   I think that the space suit technicians played a very important role in the space program. if they created the suit incorrectly one of the astronauts could get contaminated or end up dying. They had to make the suits very carefully and had to make sure that nothing was incorrect.  They had the astronauts lives in their hands and that was a lot of pressure and responsibility.  They played an important role just as much as everyone else did.

Each astronaut was given three suits individually custom made for them.  Two of the suits were for flight ready and the other one was for training purposes only.  Each of the suits had about twenty two layers.  The layers protected the crews of the Apollo missions from harm in space, because they didnt know what to expect, they prepared for anything.  The suits were made with materials like nomex, neoprene coated nylon, kapton, mylar and beta cloth.  They were stitched, glued and cemented together to create the total suit and make it strong.


This painting by my grandfather was made to show the many layers of the apollo Space suit.




My Grandfather


I have a personal connection to everything in this book.  You may be thinking, why is this?

Well, my grandfather Paul Calle was an artist and he was chosen  as one of the very first eight artists to join the NASA Art program.  He made amazing space paintings and drawings during the 1960’s.  The artwork he created is a part of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

My grandfather also designed the First Man on the Moon postage stamp for the United States in 1969.  This stamp went to the moon with the astronauts and I feel very honored to know that my grandfather’s artwork went up to the Moon.  My grandfather was with the astronauts of Apollo 11 sketching them while they were suiting up for going to the Moon.  He was there at that historical event when the Apollo 11 rocket went up and flew into space on it’s long, far journey to the Moon.



My grandfather also made amazing western art.  My father is also an equally amazing artist as my grandfather was.  I find it very interesting and exciting reading this book and seeing many of my grandfather’s own paintings while looking on the internet for subjects about space!

I think that this personal connection that I have with the book, Team Moon makes me understand it more and truly get interested in space exploration.