Worden, now 79, and his Apollo 15 crewmates David Scott and James Irwin suffered stinging NASA reprimands for bringing with them into space about 400 unauthorized postage-stamped envelopes (called first-day covers) with the intention of selling them later as souvenirs.
"It wasn't as bad as people thought. We didn't violate any regulations, we broke no rules," Worden said Tuesday from his home in Vero Beach, Florida.
An investigation into the incident revealed that previous Apollo astronauts had carried unauthorized memorabilia on board. But Worden and his fellow crew members bore the brunt of the backlash.