This page documents the Apollo 18 mission patch, special props, and displays created for the 2005 production of "Darkside." Scroll to the bottom of this page to learn more about a very important figure in the American space program, Guenter Wendt.

Mission Patch

Apollo 18

Commander:

Gerald R. Smith

CM Pilot:

William C. Griffin

LM Pilot:

Edward S. Stone

 

Command Module:

"Independence"

Lunar Module:

"Yorktown"

Apollo 18 Mission Patch Description:

The mission patch signifies the final mission of the Apollo program of lunar landings. It shows the crescent Moon and Earth lined up with the brilliant Sun on a star-field backdrop. The three large stars near the names signify the three crew members of Apollo 18. The nine medium-sized stars represent the previous Apollo missions to the Moon (Apollos 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, & 17). The two smaller white stars, near the Earth, signify the two Earth-orbit missions of Apollo (Apollos 7 & 9), while the single small gold star honors the crew of Apollo 1 (Grissom, White, & Chaffee), lost in the launch pad fire of January 27, 1967.

Above is the patch designed by Michelle Evans and rendered by Robert Kline for the August 2005 production of Darkside.

 

These patches were produced for sale during the run of the play, and are no longer available. They are now considered collectors items.

 

At left is a scan of the actual 4-inch diameter Apollo 18 patch. Directly below is the patch from the movie "Apollo 18," where you can see they borrowed directly from my original Darkside design.

Performance Props

Besides the Apollo 18 mission patch, many special props were created by Mach 25 Media.

Apollo 18 Crew Photo

 

The crew of Apollo 18 prior to launch to the Clavius crater region of the Moon at 11:42 EST on October 4, 1973.

 

The Saturn V launch vehicle is behind the crew at the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39-B. Lunar Module Pilot Edward S. Stone (Ryan Harris) and Command Module Pilot William C. Griffin (Jay Fraley) are standing behind the Lunar Roving Vehicle. Mission Commander Gerald R. Smith (Vince Campbell) is seated in the LRV.

Mission Items

 

Several props used by the cast were created including the following:

 

• Operations Manual/Flight Plan for CapCom

• Flight Operations checklists for the Apollo 18 crew

• Command Module Closeout checklist for the Pad Technician

• Badges for VIP Launch Viewing (astronaut wives), News Media (ABC News), Restricted Area (CapCom and Pad Technician)

Theater Display

A display was created by Mach 25 Media for the theater lobby and an exterior window box.

Theater Lobby Display

Exterior Window Box Display (facing Broadway)

Guenter Wendt

Besides the role I had as Technical Advisor, I also had a small part in the play as the Pad Leader who helps the Apollo 18 astronauts into their spacecraft prior to launch. I wanted to pay homage to the real person who held this job during the Apollo program, Guenter Wendt, thus my decision to wear a bowtie with my clean room suit. In addition, my Restricted Area badge carries Guenter's name.

Guenter Wendt was responsible for the final checkout of the Apollo spacecraft and for securing the crew inside prior to launch. He was literally the last person on Earth that the crew saw before they left for the Moon.

The real Guenter Wendt is shown in this series of photographs from NASA. The photo with the Apollo spacecraft (covered in a blue protective coating during training prior to launch) duplicates the opening scene of "Darkside." Learn more about him at Guenter's web site, PadLeader.com