Prayer breakfast brings astronaut to Sequim

Only a dozen astronauts have walked on the moon. On Oct. 24, one of them is walking into this county's largest prayer gathering.

Charles Moss Duke Jr., a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general and the 10th of 12 American astronauts to make a lunar walk, is the featured speaker at the 12th-annual Clallam County Prayer Breakfast in Sequim Oct. 24.

The prayer breakfast is a forum for civic, business and community members to hear an evangelistic message from a prominent individual, and

the chance to pray for

government leaders.

Duke attended U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and was commissioned into U.S. Air Force, where he was a fighter pilot, test pilot and, after encouragement by commandant Chuck Yeager, an astronaut for NASA. He served as part of the support crew for Apollo 10 and Apollo 11, and as the backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 13 before his big break in 1972.

As part of the Apollo 16 crew, Duke and fellow astronaut John Young stepped on the moon on April 20. The two set a record for a lunar surface stay of 71 hours, 14 minutes by maneuvering the lunar module "Orion" to a landing on the moon's rough Cayley Plains. In three subsequent excursions onto the lunar surface, Duke and Young each logged 20 hours and 15 minutes, testing scientific equipment and collecting more than 200 pounds of rock and soil samples.

Later in the mission, Duke and astronaut Ken Mattingly did a space walk.

At 36, Duke was and remains the youngest astronaut to walk on the moon. (The last moon walk, by Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, was in December 1972.)

Duke is a keynote and motivational speaker. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in New Braunfels, Texas.

What: 12th annual Clallam County Prayer Breakfast

When: 6:30-8:30 a.m. Oct. 24

Where: Sequim Community Church, 950 N. Fifth Ave.

Featured speaker: Charles Moss Duke Jr., astronaut

Tickets: $17 each, or $100 for a reserved table of six (advanced ticket purchase required)

Information/tickets: Call Ron Gray at 681-3761 (or e-mail, or Chuck Brown at 452-3351 (or by e-mail,

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