News detail

2 October 2009

Thomas Stafford meets Dutch Astronaut André Kuipers at Space Expo Noordwijk the Netherlands


The legendary NASA astronaut Thomas Stafford visited Space Expo to introduce a very limited Moonwatch to the Dutch media. During his presentation, General Stafford reflected on the importance of timekeeping in space. The Dutch astronaut André Kuipers joined him and both were involved in launching a scale model of the Saturn V rocket, a replica of the craft Stafford flew during Apollo 10. NASA astronaut Steve Smith also took part in the celebration.

Thomas Stafford:


'I love experiences'. With those words the legendary astronaut Thomas Stafford started his speech, sharing some of his personal experiences in space, especially with timekeeping in space. "I am still involved in the space program. It is an important part of my life, but the lunar program remains special. I recall that OMEGA has always been there with me and the others as a reliable partner for timekeeping". Stafford praised the watch for its reliability, especially for timing the correct angle for entering orbit. "Timing is extremely important to get into the lunar orbit. If that fails, you'll be gone forever".




The Dutch astronaut André Kuipers has been selected to take off in a Soyuz rocket for the International Space Station in 2011 and remain there for six months. Kuipers explained the basics of the importance of timekeeping for an astronaut in space. "Today I am in the Netherlands, so my biological clock is set to our time zone. When I go to Houston, I'll have to adapt to that time zone. When I go to Kazakhstan for take-off in 2011, I'll have to deal with their local time, and as soon as I am in space, time is measured in GMT. So, a reliable timing instrument is an important and basic necessity for any astronaut".


Unique Speedmaster limited edition


After the astronauts' impressive presentations and two short movies on the moon landing and OMEGA's achievements during the space program, it was clear how important the OMEGA Speedmaster has been for timekeeping in space. General Stafford commented, "Note that the OMEGA Speedmaster is the only NASA-instrument that has not been changed ever since Buzz Aldrin's watch became the first watch worn on the moon forty years ago. It is an outstanding timepiece." The platinum OMEGA Speedmaster presented at the Space Expo Noordwijk is one out of just 69, presented in a special box. The watch bears two 18 Ct yellow gold Apollo patches, one on the dial, the other on the case bacik. The box also includes a 24 Ct gold medallion which features the mission patch.