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Commander Pete Conrad flew on Gemini 5 in 1965, and as command pilot on Gemini 11 in 1966. Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon Jr. flew with Conrad on Gemini 11. Originally, Conrad’s Lunar Module pilot was Clifton C. Williams Jr. , who was killed in October 1967 when the T-38 he was flying crashed near Tallahassee. When forming his crew, Conrad had wanted Alan L. Bean, a former student of his at the United States Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River NAS, Maryland, but had been told by Director of Flight Crew Operations Deke Slayton that Bean was unavailable due to an assignment to the Apollo Applications Program. After Williams’s death, Conrad asked for Bean again, and this time Slayton yielded.

However, Dr. Thomas explained to the press in May 2013 that the ring arcs are much more tenuous than the fully formed rings of Saturn. As a matter of fact, the ring arcs are so delicate and thin that it would take about ten billion years for just 1 meter of blowing icy snow to collect within the craters of Methone. "The rectangular pattern of gravity anomalies was completely unexpected. Using the gradients in the gravity data to reveal the rectangular pattern of anomalies, we can now clearly and completely see structures that were only hinted at by surface observations," Dr. Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna explained in the October 1, 2014 NASA Press Release. Dr. Andrews-Hanna, a GRAIL co-investigator at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, is lead author of the paper. It is not a very expensive stone and is made into necklaces or bigger pieces for jewelry purposes. I especially like the deep, dark blue version with golden pyrite sprinkles creating very unique patterns mined only in Afghanistan. The lighter blue, grayish variety is found in Chile.