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Omega space exhibition inaugrated in India by Eugene Cernan "Last man on the moon"

  • Tuesday, May 29, 2001 2:33PM IST (9:03AM GMT)
Emphasises the contribution of the legendary Omega Speedmaster model in mankind's space ventures - past and future
New Delhi, Delhi, India:  Omega Space Exhibition, "Speedmaster Missions - Moon to Mars", capturing the greatest moments of mankind's space history was inaugurated by Eugene Cernan, Omega brand ambassador and 'last man on the moon'. Presenting a collection of the unique space watches for the first time in India, Jonathan Stalder, Area Sales Manager, Omega, also announced that Omega Speedmaster 'Moon watch' and the New Speedmaster Professional X-33 'Mars Watch' will be an integral part of mankind's future space expeditions such as the 'International Space Station Programme'. The Omega Space Exhibition, "Speedmaster Missions - Moon to Mars", which will be held at The Oberoi lobby, Mumbai from May 29 to June 2, 2001, displays the Lunar Rover that Cernan drove on the moon; a space outfit that he wore during one of his missions; and a life size 'Mars explorer', the Sojourner. Also on display, for the first time in India, are the 22 Omega Speedmaster Professional watches, which have been important parts of every space mission. Each of these watches is decorated with the various NASA mission patches of which they were a part. The patches designed by the astronauts before each mission are symbolic of each unique foray into space. Also on display is the highly acclaimed NASA 'Snoopy Award'. Awarded by astronauts to thank personalities or companies for their contribution to space exploration. This was conferred on Omega in 1970 for saving the lives of three cosmonauts on Apollo 13 in 1970. James Lovell, John Swigert and Fred Haise - the three astronauts on Apollo 13 - had to use the Omega watch to time the critical 14 seconds of time needed to get the craft back to earth. The wedge-shaped reentry trajectory had only two degrees of tolerance. If it were too shallow, the craft would bounce back out into space like a skipped stone glancing off water. To reenter at the correct angle, the craft had to use attitude control. The computer for that purpose was shut down. The crew had to manually fire the engine for exactly 14 seconds with thrust at 10% output. They used the Omega Speedmaster to time the critical 14 seconds and returned to earth safely. A fortnight later the exhibition will travel to New Delhi. Omega also announced that Eugene Cernan would extend an invitation to its brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, to visit NASA's facilities in Houston and experience Omega Speedmaster's voyages into space. Eugene Cernan will extend the invitation to Shah Rukh Khan at his talk, where he will share his experiences, at the Oberoi in the evening. "The Omega space exhibition will definitely inspire the Indian youth to develop an interest in space expeditions, explorations and pursue careers as astronauts and cosmonauts. I hope that this great opportunity provided by Omega will enable me to spread awareness about the 'romance' associated with space expeditions. The future of space expeditions will depend on unified efforts made by committed individuals and countries including India," said, Mr Eugene Cernan, Omega brand ambassador.

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