50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

Swiss-made watches created using rocket metal from Apollo Mission AS-203

Download: Printable PDF Date: 04 Aug 2019 14:14 (UTC) category:
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Swiss-made watches created using rocket metal from Apollo Mission AS-203 - Events / Festivals publisher
Dana Ermolenko
Country: Switzerland

To commemorate the 50thanniversary of the Apollo Moon landings, time-piece manufacturer West One has launched a unique fundraising proposition to support development of a trio of Swiss-made watches created using rocket metal from Apollo Mission AS-203.

The Eagle, Saturn and Orion watches are the culmination of years of effort by the West One founders since the discovery of what was clearly metal from a space rocket in 1975. Pilot Graham Sheppard made the discovery when he landed at West One airstrip in a remote part of north-west Zambia in a Britten-Norman Islander aircraft, while collecting a patient for the Zambia Flying Doctor Service. Graham’s youngest son Richard, who ended up living in Zambia, recovered the metal in 2000 after a long and at times frustrating search. 

Detailed analysis in the UK authenticated that the metal originated from NASA Mission AS-203, an Apollo Saturn IB rocket that launched in 1966 from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. 

The AS-203 mission was designed to test the Saturn-IVB upper stage’s single rocket engine, which ultimately took man to the Moon using the Saturn V rockets. However, the stage failed after its fourth orbit following a planned test to pressurize the liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank beyond design limits.The entire stage broke up and debris scattered over the South Atlantic and into continental Africa. 

The 13ft by 8ft metal panel, which journeyed out to the stars, will now form the foundation of the West One collection. A phase one Indiegogo fundraising round is generating revenue to support production prototype development. Since launching just a week ago it has reached its first goal of 30% funding. Once stage one funding reaches 100% West One will prepare to launch the manufacturing of production prototypes in conjunction with a leading Swiss horologist. Prototype development will include preparing tooling jigs for production and machining discs from the Apollo AS-203 aluminium alloy.

West One is determined to reach their next goal of 50% funding by 3rdAugust, two weeks after the 50thanniversary of Apollo 11 reached its climax when Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon.  “We are truly thrilled to launch the Apollo Watch Collection. Initial fundraising has gathered momentum and we have already received immense interest as obviously the opportunity to own a piece of flown Apollo space metal is rare.  We anticipate that the Eagle, Saturn, and Orion watches will attract significant attention from space-lovers, horologists, aerospace enthusiasts, and those that are just simply enchanted by man’s relationship with the moon,” said Tristan Sheppard, Project Manager for West One. 

To secure a watch with a dial made from Apollo rocket metal, become a founding owner, reserve a serial number, and claim a piece of lunar history visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/west-one-the-apollo-watch-collection#

With a limited number of watches available it is anticipated popular serial numbers will be quickly secured.

Please click HEREto see a short video about the Apollo Watch Collection



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