The Semicentenial anniversary of the famous Alan Shepard moonshot
The shot - acrylic on canvas- 48 x 116 inches
When, on February 6th, 1971 Alan Shephard positioned his golf ball and placed the six-iron head behind it he was not only aware of the milestone he was setting in the history of mankind but also intended to hit the longest golf shot in the history of the sport. He even claimed after making good contact on the second attempt that "it`ll fly for miles and miles."
In fact, it traveled just 40 yards!
The knowledge of the real distance Shepard achieved came after new calculations last year using modern camera techniques that enhanced the original 16mm film.
To the defense of Alan Shepard, most people know he had to play the shot with only one arm-his right arm. It is unlikely that many amateurs playing this shot would have done much better. Although the one-sixth gravity meant the ball traveled significantly farther than it would have done on Earth;
a combination of equipment and surroundings limited nearly all ability to create speed.
If you have never seen the original film I can recommend studying the event and be left to admire Alan Shepard's ability to "get the job done," in spite of the immensely tense circumstances.
Alan Shepard demonstrated the brilliance of focus and the importance of a practice swing.
If you spend a moment studying the events on the video you will see how a specially trained human being keeps his emotions at a "quiet" level and stays focused on the task at hand. Consider the circumstances. The first shot is played and you only have one more chance. You have never practiced the shot under the unnatural circumstances you face. The huge stiff suit with a hefty backpack, thick padded gloves, unforgiving golf club along with a natural bad lie. Now add the shot is being shown in front of countless millions over the world, and you have been warned by your superiors (as Shepard was) that you could turn the whole event into a circus if you get it wrong.
Instead of being a disaster, Alan Shepard sent the ball into the moon`s exosphere
Alan Shepard, like all Astronauts, was a highly trained individual. He would have been especially capable of remaining calm and performing complex tasks in the most difficult of circumstances.
Therefore, Shepard was very skilled in taking deep breaths and moving on without flaw. It would have been almost instinctive for him to use the focusing tools he had learned at NASA. In the film, it can be seen how he reacts to the first shot, which was a shank. He makes a practice swing and utters a small self-encouragement remark. "Yes, that`s it."
On he goes into the final shot, applying a better rhythm and more responsive body rotation-and off the ball flies.
Moonshot- Screen print.