Generation Apollo: Where are they now?

Published 10:23 PM ET, Thu July 15, 2021
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Sheryl Chaffee: Sheryl would eventually find her way back to NASA -- at first, not telling many people she was the daughter of the late Apollo 1 astronaut Roger Chaffee. She recently retired after 33 years, having always taken January 27 -- the date of the fire in which her dad was killed -- off of work. Sheryl is now chair of the board of directors for The Astronauts Memorial Foundation. She is married with two sons and four grandchildren, and she still has the pendant with two hearts that her father was planning to take with him to space. courtesy Sheryl Chaffee
Gwen Griffin: Crediting her father's job, her childhood, and being around so many adults at important functions (not to mention meeting presidents), Gwen learned about the importance of communication from a young age. She went on to start the Griffin Communications Group, an aerospace communications firm headquartered in Houston, where she's been CEO for more than 20 years. Gwen is married (she's pictured here with her husband) and has two stepchildren, four granddaughters and a new grandson. courtesy Gwen Griffin
Kirk Griffin: Like his father, Gerry, Kirk graduated from Texas A&M University before spending 16 years as a contractor and civil servant at Johnson Space Center. Married for nearly 40 years, Kirk and his wife live in Texas and have three children and four grandchildren. courtesy Kirk Griffin
Jeff Carr: Surrounded by media from a young age, Jeff went on to hold several positions within NASA's public affairs office (including the "voice of Mission Control" for more than 40 Shuttle missions) and at the United Space Alliance, before joining Gwen Griffin at her agency in 2010. He is now president of Griffin Communications Group. He lives in Texas with his wife. courtesy Jeff Carr
Amy Bean: Having remained close friends with Tracy Cernan for 57 years and counting, Amy also keeps in touch with many of the other astronaut kids -- relationships that have rekindled as their own children have grown up. Today, Amy (right, pictured with Tracy Cernan at Amy's daughter's wedding in October 2020) lives near Texas Hill Country, and is a public speaker on the Apollo experience, the impact on her family, and her father's artwork. She's currently writing a book on lessons she's learned as a moonwalker's daughter. courtesy Amy Bean
Barbara Lovell Harrison: After moving away from Houston, Barbara put the space program behind her for decades. It wasn't until more recently that she's started to embrace it. Now she's actively involved in anniversary and reunion events, when she's not traversing the country visiting her parents (who just celebrated 69 years of marriage), her three children or her six grandchildren. Here, she is pictured (right) with her daughter Caroline and one of her grandsons. To this day, Barbara remains close friends with Connie, whom she met during the Apollo program years. courtesy Barbara Lovell Harrison
Tracy Cernan Woolie: Living in Houston, Tracy (left, pictured with Gwen Griffin at an Apollo 11 anniversary event) is married and has three daughters and a young granddaughter. Lately, she has joined Amy Bean and their mothers to speak about the experience of being an astronaut's daughter -- with the goal of keeping her father's legacy alive and motivating young students in the areas of space and STEM. courtesy Tracy Cernan Woolie
Jan Aldrin: Jan, pictured in front of a statue honoring her father and his Apollo 11 crewmates, manages the business of her husband, who is a composer for TV and film. Jan has one son and three grandsons. courtesy Jan Aldrin
Andy Aldrin: Impromptu childhood lessons from his father, Buzz, had an impact on Andy, who has since had a long career in space education. Currently, he runs the space entrepreneurship program at the Florida Institute of Technology and is helping to launch programs at two more universities. He is also president of the Aldrin Family Foundation, which specializes in space education. courtesy Andy Aldrin
Gayle Anders Nuffer: When Gayle was 9 years old, at the beginning of 1970, the Anders family left Houston to move to Arlington, Virginia. Leaving the tight-knit NASA community was difficult, but the kids soon learned to make new friends. Gayle lost touch with a lot of the other astronaut children after the move, but reconnected recently at an astronaut wives' reunion with her mother. Pictured here (far right) in Chicago with her parents, Bill and Valerie, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 in 2018, she has three sons and lives with her husband in San Diego, California, where both her parents were raised. courtesy Gayle Anders Nuffer