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Thread: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

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    Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    The launch was 50 years ago today!

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    Awesome event in the annals of humankind. I was but a kid, and loved it. Riveted to the TV. I was enthralled with the space program.

    If you haven't read it, pick up a copy of the book "Failure is not an Option" by Gene Kranz, I promise you won't be able to put it down. Lots of geeky technical stuff: computers, engineering, but also the human side of the equation. You can feel the tension, the stress, the emotion...

    We usually watched ABC's coverage with Frank Reynolds and Science Editor Jules Bergman. But, Walter Cronkite's iconic reporting of the moon landing, CBS, is historic TV. What a moment! I admit, like Cronkite, I still get teary-eyed watching it even now. Folks who did not experience it live, actually live it, don't understand the emotional impact of the event. Literally over 1 billion people world wide watched it live on TV...at a time when the population was something like 3 billion.

    One of our neighbors was an astronaut. Unfortunately he was not selected to actually go into space as part of the Apollo missions. He did train with those that did, he was an alternate. He did fly an X-15 into low orbit, as part of that program. Anyway, when he came home (New Orleans) we kids would mob him for autographs and just to ask him questions. Astronauts were considered heroes back then.

    National Geographic has a TV show recapping the Apollo missions. It's a good watch.

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago


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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    Historic tidbit...

    The Soviets tried to steal our thunder and beat us to the Sea of Tranquility with an unmanned probe. They launched two days before Apollo 11 did (Saturn 5 Rocket). Their plan was to have their probe sitting there, with the hammer & cycle flag "USSR" stuff for the world to see on TV. Of course, The Eagle had several landing options and had the Soviets beaten us to the #1 target location, we could have landed a mile away or so. BUT! that was never an issue because the commie bastards had problems. Their machine was in moon orbit but did not land...no crash!...until two weeks after Apollo 11 had departed the moon, and even then they missed the Sea of Tranquility and crashed 10 miles away. The bastards only succeeded in embarrassing themselves. Then the engineers responsible were executed by firing squad.

    And this...

    NASA engineers never had a chance to test the engine on the LEM that brought the two astronauts back to the command module. They weren't sure if it would actually work. President Nixon had a prepared speech in case Armstrong and Aldrin were killed, or left to die, on the moon. Happily, that never happened.

    Oh, and this...

    the targeted landing spot turned out to be a steep, boulder-strewn crater so Armstrong turned off the auto-pilot and manually landed Eagle on a flat, smooth spot. The extra flying is why the LEM had only 16 seconds of fuel left when it safely touched down. A close call.

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    I imagine that if/when humans encounter beings other than ourselves -- be they angels, aliens, whatever -- we'll be asked about the Apollo missions:

    "You strapped yourselves into chemical missiles and launched yourselves at the moon? Guided by transistor-era tech with 4K of RAM? And landed with a parachute?! What in the bloody hell were you idiots thinking?!"

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    Ever seen the inside of the Mercury capsule, circa 1962-63? Looks more like someone's basement plumbing system. Actually had handles that resembled garden hose knobs. The electronics was heavy switches, like circuit breakers you have in your house. John Glenn and the others who piloted one had to turn valves on and off manually and flip switches.

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    Real time of the mission 50 years ago:

    https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    Buzz Aldrin punched out a moonwalk denier, who refused to get out of his face. Aldrin walked away 3 or 4 times trying to avoid a confrontation, but you can only push someone, especially someone with the "Right Stuff," so far.

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    Quote Originally Posted by dawg80 View Post
    Buzz Aldrin punched out a moonwalk denier, who refused to get out of his face. Aldrin walked away 3 or 4 times trying to avoid a confrontation, but you can only push someone, especially someone with the "Right Stuff," so far.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=moon...XvpbRwQJaP4pM:




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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    Buzz is now 89 and he could still kick ass. The guy was a combat fighter pilot, astronaut... and has degrees from West Point and MIT. Talk about the right stuff.

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    Quote Originally Posted by dawg80 View Post
    Ever seen the inside of the Mercury capsule, circa 1962-63? Looks more like someone's basement plumbing system. Actually had handles that resembled garden hose knobs. The electronics was heavy switches, like circuit breakers you have in your house. John Glenn and the others who piloted one had to turn valves on and off manually and flip switches.
    John Glenn was once asked how he felt before taking off on his flight. He said, "I felt exactly how you would feel if you were getting ready to launch and knew you were sitting on top of 2 million parts -- all built by the lowest bidder on a government contract."

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    LaTech Apollo 11 tidbit
    Those of you old enough might remember that when A11 returned the astronauts were placed in quarantine as were the lunar samples. The samples were being examined by lab techs in a highly controlled environment. One of the lab techs, a LaTech med tech grad, was placed in isolation with the astronauts when she was exposed to lunar dust. Kind of cramped the space in the highly modified Airstream isolation ward.

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago

    Just back from Houston and took the grand young uns to the Space Center. I am still amazed by the sight of the Saturn 5 Rocket and the inside of the various capsules. Awful cramped in those.

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    Re: Apollo 11: 50 Years Ago



    Hopefully we can go back and to farther frontiers.

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