Apollo 11: People Are Still Asking This Question

Apollo 11: People Are Still Asking This Question

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every single person on Earth who had access to a  TV set and that would be about 600 million of us   watch the blurry almost surreal image of Neil  Armstrong's stepping live onto the surface of   the Moon but after Apollo 11 returned  to Earth we got an entirely different   view of those first historic moments in part  four of what we saw we'll give you the sharp   full color view of that one small step from  a perspective that no one has shared before   we'll watch how One race against the Soviets  ended with a win and the one against the U.S   Congress resulted in a defeat so join us  for the Journey of Apollo 11 the seven   Apollo missions that followed and Decades of  disappointments crowned at last with a new hope we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do   the other thing not because they are  easy but because they are hard [Music] [Music] 32 minutes past the hour lift up on Apollo 11. Tranquility we copy you on the ground you got   a bunch of guys about to turn blue  we're breathing again thanks a lot you're looking good here the uh vehicle is  surprisingly free of any degrees floating around   it's very clean we strength in here do a pretty  good job of pulling my pants down right here   we haven't quite got that before the 50 million  TV audience yet there have been a lot of great   stage entrances in history but I'm pretty sure  that the one made by Neil Armstrong seen by over   600 million people live on TV is not one  that's going to be surpassed anytime soon   so after a final check of helmets visors gloves  life support packs tools cameras and all the   rest all of it within the space of a decent  sized standard bedroom closet Aldrin began to   depressurize the eagle there were no seats in the  limb when America landed on the moon we landed on   our feet by God we did it six times so now try to  imagine two very fit men in their late 30s jammed   into that closet and each of them are wearing  suits they're not too far away from the one used   by the guy playing the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man  in Ghostbusters just bending over enough to open   the small hatch down at knee level between the two  standing positions it was kind of a major effort   now what was about to happen next was in  my opinion the Pinnacle of human history   that descent down the ladder is so iconic  it's so untarnishable it can't be ruined   which kind of makes me feel a little better  because frankly when we think of men from   planet Earth First setting foot upon the surface  of another world you want to believe that Neil   Armstrong eyes on a far Horizon stepped manfully  out of the darkness of the limb he surveyed the   landscape hands on his hips perhaps nodded and  then walked down the golden staircase it kind   of makes me feel a little crummy to be the one  to point out that when Armstrong Aldrin and the   10 Americans to follow first emerged from their  lunar module they did so on their knees crawling   going backwards and moving very very slowly  okay Houston I'm on the porch Roger nail okay   everything's nice and stayed in here okay can you  pull the door open a little more right [Applause]   mail radio check a pretty smart move by  Neil there you know if you've got the   entire planet Earth tuned in you probably  want to do a sound check before you start   the show this Houston loud and clear  break break Buzz this is Houston radio   check and verify TV circuit breaker and now back  in that New York hotel room where I was watching   live as a 10 year old we still couldn't see  anything but right about here after helping   Armstrong out of the hatch Buzz Aldrin moves to  the right window of the limb that's the lunar   module's pilot stations where he belongs and  he starts rolling Motion Picture film which   of course we wouldn't see until they returned  from the Moon and we gotten it developed now the   image is jumpy for a few seconds then it kind of  stabilizes buzz must have braced himself to steady   the image because it Jiggles just a little  bit as he checks the circuit breaker [Music] now from where he's standing Aldrin and and the  camera he's holding can only see about half of   the frame the entire left half of the image  is just black and gray it's the circular nose   of the limb jutting forward blocking the view of  the small platform at the top of the ladder just   outside the hatch called the porch then right  at the edge of that diagonally split frame we   see a moment of movement it's a backpack and  then as he gets onto the ladder we see just the   left quarter of Armstrong we see an arm a leg the  backpack the image is a little bit dark so Aldrin   opens it up a spot then the light levels come  up okay now it's not a squiggle anymore right   there on the top of his left shoulder there's a  definite patch of red white and blue it's a flag   it's our flag there's another camera bump as Neil  steadies himself at the head of the ladder you   can't get a good clear look at his face because  you're looking down at him from the limb looking   down on the top of his helmet but it's clear that  his golden visor is up you can definitely see that   there's some kind of head inside that helmet  and we're getting a picture on the TV [Music] uh no uh Buzz they don't have a good picture  Aldrin speaking as a test pilot here when he   says you got a good picture that means  the damn thing's actually working that's   about all you can say about it I couldn't  make any sense out of the image at all   uh there's a great deal of contrast in it and  currently it's upside down on our monitor but   we can make out a fair amount of detail the entire  world is watching that live blurry TV image but I   want to stay with what Aldrin is seeing up in  the limb he's looking down from the right side   of the eagle he's filming Neil Armstrong as he's  working the image is still a little bit blurry but   it's in color and it is far better than what's  coming up from a late 60s handheld TV Camera then you can see Neil Armstrong looking down he's  holding on to the base of the ladder actually   leans back a little bit to get a better look  at the four lunar landing pads they are only with the surface appears to be uh very very  fine grained as you get close to it it's   almost like a powder now as we keep watching the  footage shot from inside the limb Aldrin moves a   little you can see the blurry reflection of  his pressure suit moving across the window   Neil is looking straight  ahead and he's looking down   he's in the shadow of the eagle and that shadow  stretches up and across the right side of the   frame all the way to the top it's ominous and  imposing the shadow of that lunar module then   there's a moment it's just a quick beat as if he's  rehearsing a line he wrote in his head here comes   the greatest moment in human history and here  is a man speaking as calmly as he possibly could you can see the tether straining a  little as he moves slightly to the   left he's looking down now at his left foot  which is invisible below the frame and then   you can actually see him shift his weight you can  actually tell from his posture that he's stepping   on dust that's giving away just a little and he  does something else I didn't notice before you   can actually watch him pushing down maybe five  or six times damping down the gray talcum powder   of the surface the way you would if you were  standing on snow he's testing to make sure it's   going to support his weight up in the limb from  our point of view aldrin's reflection is moving   across the glass Armstrong is looking down  at his left boot it's one small step for man one guy at least Amanda [Music]   hi everybody I hope you're enjoying this series  on Apollo 11 in the Space Race before we get   any further I wanted to share an important  announcement with you I partnered with daily   wire plus to create a brand new season of what we  saw this time we're keeping our feet on the ground   and exploring the Cold War this is an unflinching  look at the 45-year standoff between Russia and   the United States you have to realize that for  decades people were kept in the dark about what   really went on behind the Iron Curtain Cold War  what we saw shined some much-needed light on the   brutal and drastic measures the Soviets took to  preserve communism and the Western countries that   did everything in their power to bring freedom  to those Nations who suffered under the iron   grip of their government you can watch episode 1  of this 13-part series on daily wire Plus for free   and there'll be new episodes every week I hope  you become a daily wire plus member to see the   rest click on the link in the description to watch  episode one and now back to Apollo 11 what we saw for the first and only time during this  entire run of footage Armstrong glances up   almost to see if Buzz got the shot but of  course that's just my Hollywood background   talking Armstrong was looking right  at Aldrin and for half a second you   can see the eyes of the man who just stepped  off of his spacecraft and into immortality 1160 a second for a Shadow Photography on the  sequence comma none just like that he goes back   to work he starts describing the texture of the  lunar dust welcome pick it up Loosely with my toe   it does adhere to in fine layers  like powdered charcoal through the   the stool and and sides of my boots  what we saw all around the world   was a barely legible blob moving against a black  background as if he really were stepping out onto   the stage of history and reading his line but  if you watch it from above you can see all of   the Nuance all the hesitation and then you  actually get to watch for a moment as Neil   Armstrong prepares himself to step out onto the  moon this demystifies the entire moment it becomes   less iconic becomes less abstract becomes less  historic and it becomes far far far more human   when Neil Armstrong was just another test pilot  like Chuck Yeager and most of the rest of the   Mercury and Gemini astronauts out at Edwards Air  Force Base he naturally enough fell into the small   circle of men who had a 25 chance of being killed  every time they went up to test a new aircraft   they had their own language these men they had  their own insults they had their own compliments   a lot of it was the dark humor that  protects you from watching so many   people being killed in a seat you'd just  been in or one you are about to be in 1201 Roger 1201 alarm Roger 1202 we copy it is emotion any kind of emotion is fatal for men  like this when a never-before-seen computer   error kept reappearing at the worst possible  moment during The Descent it's the lack   of emotion in Armstrong's and aldrin's  voice that's what's keeping them alive   the rating on the 12 th now look I don't for an  instant mean to seriously compare what I'm about   to say with what they actually experienced but  it's as close as I have to come up to that kind of   moment and it's the only way I can kind of explain  to you how it feels during moments like that   I was on my dress rehearsal flight for my  instrument check ride and by some miracle   Santa Monica Airport was actually IFR  instrument flight rules meaning that a   low cloud ceiling ruled out visual flight  references in other words it was the only   time during my entire instrument training  that I was going to fly into actual weather   instead of wearing the hood that I'd worn to keep  me looking down at the instruments and not out   the window at yet another Perfect Day in Paradise  my flight instructor was in the right seat we got   our clearance I read it back we added power and  10 seconds after the wheels were off the Runway   we'd entered clouds so thick that I could not  see the stubby wing tips just a few feet away   on the Piper Archer instrument trainer just a  puddle jumper really now I reached a certain   intersection determined by radio beams and I  started a right climbing turn towards Burbank   now between me and that airport where the Santa  Monica Hills and they're not really Hills maybe   1 500 feet high actual mountains and I've driven  over them thousands of times I know they're there   I started the right turn towards the hills  climb rate looked good my turn and Bank   indicator indicated a turn to the right but  my primary instrument my Artificial Horizon   told me that I was making a descending turn to  the left now at that exact instant I could feel   I could actually feel that little red-eyed rat  of sheer Panic starting to nibble on my ankles   I turned to my flight instructor I told him  my primary instrument was indicating a turn   in the wrong direction I looked at him to  tell me what to do he did tell me what to do   kick its ass what he said and then in that  instant I felt a lever a big one kind of   get thrown somewhere in the back of my head okay  Panic is completely gone now now all I have to do I had turned to the right it felt like we  were turning to the right but that didn't   mean a thing thousands and thousands of Pilots  have died in exactly that fashion all I knew   was that I was flying the general direction of a  mountain range and that in every contest between   the ground and the airplane the ground has won  every single time trust your instruments so what   are they telling me well the simple bank and  turn indicator shows a turn to the right the   far more sophisticated Artificial Horizon is  indicating a turn to the left so I looked down   at the gyroscopic heading indicator and also  at the simple Compass just up there on the dash   both of those were showing a turn to the right  the Artificial Horizon was outvoted I covered   it up with a black suction cup bought precisely  for this kind of emergency so that it would not   distract me with false information now as required  by regulations I radioed air traffic control and I   advise them that I was in instrument conditions  and that my primary instrument had failed SoCal   departure replied with and I quote Roger say  intentions and what I wanted to say was that   I intended that someone on the ground would get a  fire truck with a big [ __ ] ladder and get me the   hell out of this damn thing what I actually said  was that we would continue the ILS the instrument   Landing system approach into Burbank which is  what we did and there was no moving map I just   had two needles against a black background I had  to keep them centered it took us just an instant   for us to descend through that cloud layer and  when we did I looked up and I saw the approach   lights of Burbank airport now I was slightly to  the left of the center line and my instructor   was slightly to the right of it at that exact  instant I felt like the Lord of all creation if   I had not been able to suppress that emotion if I  let that little rat get to my knees if I panicked   I wouldn't be here I'd be mixed with small bits  of aluminum in a charge Spot somewhere on the   left where the 405 goes over Sepulveda to pass and  I've had three engine failures in single engine   airplanes two of those in experimental aircraft  and all three of those times I felt that lever   getting thrown in the back of my head and  that sick sense of fear just kind of Fall Away   I'm alive to tell these true Tales of Adventure  because my primary flight instructor named Jeff   Larkin told me something as we walked out  to our two-seat Grove glider just before   my first flying lesson back in 1991. Billy  said it's probably never going to happen  

but if something does go wrong up there you  you are going to leave that airplane and your   reptile brain is going to take over my job is  to make sure that the reptile knows what to do   now I'm saying all of this because I want you to  understand that emotion is fatal for test pilots   and as I said this shows up in the language  the test pilots use no one ever said to Neil   Armstrong none of his Pilot friends anyway no one  ever said wow what an amazing job Neil we're just   so damn proud of you a colleague might if he had  survived extraordinarily trying circumstances have   a chance to maybe under his breath say to Neil  Armstrong you sir are a steely-eyed missile man   a big mistakes also have their own sardonic  emotionless tone you didn't crash you augured   in you didn't leave a flaming smoking crater on  someone's property you ruined the guy's place so   your last act on Earth was to do the right  thing you bought the farm if you messed up   badly and somehow managed to survive well that  was like sneaking into your girlfriend's house   creeping silently up the darkened stairs expertly  sliding past her snoring father with a shotgun at   his side and then entering the wrong room and end  up screwing the pooch Neil Armstrong was the most   steely-eyed of missile men during the entire  Mission the question for history is did Neil   screw the pooch when it came time to utter  the most Monumental words in human history man die at least Amanda that's one small step for men  one giant leap for mankind doesn't make any sense   in that sentence man and Mankind are  interchangeable what he intended to say was   that's one small step for a man one giant leap for  mankind which is absolutely perfect it Shakespeare   coming from an engineer now a half century later  we still reverently report the world's most famous   botched line but not too long ago certainly before  he died a couple of audio Engineers told Neil   Armstrong that they had put some serious computer  power into the actual broadcast that he made from   the Moon those two audio guys discovered what  they believed to be an almost instantaneous radio   heterodyne that is when two radio signals are both  communicating on the same frequency at the same   time they block each other out according to the  analysis of these two audio experts Armstrong's   a in a man was spoken but it was actually blocked  I will say this just try saying it out loud for   yourself that's one small step for man you see how  easy it is to swallow but still say that missing a   tell me if you got a picture here well you've got  a beautiful picture here now there's a great film   sequence same position up there in the limb  looking down and it's a picture of Neil he's   got his visor up his face is clearly visible  for the only time during the entire Mission   as Aldrin filmed him grabbing what was called the  contingency sample that's just a real quick scoop   of moon dust in case some emergency caused them to  have to cheese it out of there ahead of schedule d a high desert of the United States government  but it's very pretty out here there's really not   much to look at honestly but it's important  footage because a moment later Aldrin would   stop filming from the Lem as he prepared to  join Armstrong on the surface that little   clip is important because it's the only time that  we can actually make out Neil Armstrong's face as   soon as Aldrin stops filming from the limb Aldrin  will perform the bulk of the actions while Neil   is almost all of the photography in virtually  every Apollo 11 image you see of an astronaut   on the moon that astronaut is Buzz Aldrin Neil  Armstrong essentially disappears once Buzz gets   his boots on the moon 20 minutes after Armstrong  Buzz Aldrin exited the eagle by crawling back   out of the hatch and onto the porch of the Lamb  Armstrong was there to film this in great detail   ing okay you're right at the edge of  the porch I want to uh back up and   partially close the hand Buzz wasn't joking  about being locked out of the Lamb either if the hatch had fully closed it would have  been very difficult perhaps impossible for   them to get back inside now that would be  the ultimate sprue the pooch moment in all   of human history it got the only laugh I  personally ever heard from Neil Armstrong that's our home for the next couple  hours we want to take good care of it   it's like Armstrong before him by  backing out Aldrin is not able to   see anything of the lunar surface until the  final jump onto the lunar module's foot pad   when he's finally able to turn around  the shock of it is just electrifying out here magnificent desolation that's exactly right Buzz Armstrong then walks over to the  remote TV camera that had taken   pictures of him coming down the ladder  but he changes the setting on the lenses around your nail now this new shot is much better  through the gray cathode tube scan lines we can   see both men they're standing very close together  they're right up against the ladder haven't uh some reason Neil Armstrong's  Midwestern accent seems to   go into full afterburner and just for this moment 69 50. For All Mankind you know a lot of people  both in America and abroad like to characterize   us as these mindless jingoistic knuckle draggers  waving our giant foam fingers with we're number   one on them while we're chanting USA USA USA But  if there was ever a more graceful more humble or   a more generous message than the one tied to the  leg of the eagle I've yet to hear it here men from   the planet Earth First set foot upon the moon  July 1969 A.D we came in peace For All Mankind hey Elizabeth Houston we're copying   instruments were then placed on the surface a  thin pole was hammered with some significant   effort into the hard lunar Rock underneath the  dust and an American flag was put up Roger the   Eva is progressing beautifully I believe they're  setting up the flag now it had been stiffened with   wires so it gave the general appearance of blowing  in the non-existent wind now if they hadn't done   this it would have just simply hung wimply from  the pole and would have essentially been invisible   planting that flag on the moon was the only  Cold War Victory Parade that we would ever have   oh it's beautiful Mike it really is they got  the flag up now and you can see the stars it was what the Marines raising the flag on Iwo  jima's Mount suribachi meant to our fathers and   mothers it was proof in this case In Living  Color that all of the years of effort and   sacrifice all the Lost blood and lost treasures  spent to make good on a challenge made by a young   president who like Lincoln did not get to see  the great struggle that we had finally overcome so it's small wonder that after the mission  looking back on all of the computer failures   the close calls the near misses that they  had to get to in order to land on the moon   Buzz Aldrin stated without hesitation that  of all the jobs I had to do on the moon the   one I wanted to go the smoothest was the  flag raising now two hours and 15 minutes   may seem like a decent stretch of time for  a first walk on another planet and it is   but one thing that absolutely blew my mind was  the size of the ground that they actually covered   imagine looking down at a major league baseball  diamond you put the Lem on the pitcher's mound and   each leg extends exactly to the circle where  the clay meets the grass the entire moonwalk   virtually all of it doesn't only take place in  the infield virtually all of it takes place inside   the Baseline now there's one Excursion over the  home team dugout to set up a camera and there's   a little Loop just past first base in foul ball  territory and finally the single greatest Trek   by far is a solitary walk about halfway into right  center field to examine the rim of a small crater   that's it with the Lem on the pitcher's Mount  not counting that one brief foray about twice   the distance to second base pretty much the  entire moonwalk takes place inside the clay   of the infield it's actually on the grass in the  center of the diamond it's absolutely shocking   you know I think looking back on it history  went out of her way to be particularly   fair to Armstrong and Aldrin both men landed  simultaneously of course but Neil Armstrong was   is and forever will be the first man on the Moon  there's a curious kind of symmetry at work here   for while Armstrong's name became history  and then Legend the fact remains that all   of our memories of that breathtaking event  really belong to Aldrin that boot print on   the moon every single drop of sweat and blood  in every single scent that the Apollo program   ended up spending could be crystallized forever  in that one image of that boot print on the moon   was Buzz aldrin's boot that image of an American  astronaut crisply saluting the American flag   that's Aldrin 2. and what's rightfully been  called the most famous picture in history   it's a man standing casually almost idly on the  surface of another world he's anonymous due to   the golden visor needed to protect his eyes  from the brilliant unfiltered sunlight well   that's Aldrin too now you can't see his face  but if you look closely there's a word printed   on the spacesuit in that picture of the first moon  landing that picture of the Space Age that picture   it's going to last as long as humans last and  that word is Aldrin so which one would you rather   be the immortal name in the history books or the  person in an equally Immortal picture where's the   entire idea ridiculous kind of like the idea of  a one-sided coin Neil Armstrong's name would not   have been written without Buzz Aldrin aldrin's  picture would not have been captured without   Armstrong behind the camera and that's actually my  very favorite thing about that image of an Apollo   astronaut on the moon you look closely you'll  see aldrin's name but if you look even closer   you'll see that Neil Armstrong is in the shot  as well he's reflected in the mirror-like visor   that's how it should be too I think each man  reflecting the other with neither face visible   as if any one of the 350 000 people who powered  this journey could be behind that face plate   maybe it said white behind the golden  Glasser Gus Grissom or Roger Chaffee   maybe it's the entire human race hidden in  that small little bubble brought up from Earth   maybe it's me in that picture maybe it's you and  uh congratulations to yesterday's performance and   our prayers are with you thank you Jim thank  you Jim crime Quality Base but it's beautiful and then it was over not just the mission  the entire program the idea of Dreams made   real the spirit of the Space Age  was over we just didn't know it yet go ahead 11. Neil and Buzz climbed back into  the eagle they sealed the hatch they stowed the  

samples and they prepared for liftoff but while  he was trying to find a place for a big bag of   moon rocks Aldrin accidentally hit the control  console of the Lem with this giant sack of rocks   and he broke something now  what he happened to break   turned out to be the switch that's going to  fire the ascent stage to get them back up   into lunar orbit rendezvous with Mike  Collins in Colombia and then go home there's a story I've heard I've heard it twice  from people who actually knew Buzz Aldrin and   despite all the research I did for this program  I was never able to find out if it's true or not   actually you know what I don't care if it's  true it's perfect whether it happened or not   I loved this story because to me it perfectly  captures the difference in Attitude between   how we thought during the Space Age versus how we  think today here's the story many many years after   the flight of Apollo 11 a young journalist  was interviewing Buzz Aldrin on television   she'd read about Buzz accidentally smashing the  switch that's going to bring them home and then   she asked him with the perfect kindness and  sensitivity of modern America if Buzz began   to give some thought to what he would tell  his wife and children before the air ran out   during those final moments did he or Armstrong  discuss what their final words to Earth would be   and would Buzz be willing to share that with us  after all these years now according to Legend   Buzz Aldrin stared at her for a moment as if  she'd asked this last question in some kind   of foreign language and once he realized that she  was serious he supposedly leaned forward and said   we weren't thinking about any last words we're  trying to figure out how to fix the goddamn switch I do love that story so Armstrong Aldrin and Collins  all made it home safely   turns out felt tip pen was just the right size  to close the contact on that broken switch no there's a picture of Neil Armstrong in the limb  taken by Aldrin of course just a few minutes after   they'd repressurized the eagle and removed their  helmets first man on the Moon looks tired he looks   very tired he needs a shave and probably needs  a shower as well his eyes appear swollen and red   but the look on his face is just transcendental  the eyes and the smile not those of a 38 year   old steely-eyed missile Man Neil Armstrong looks  exactly like a six-year-old kid seeing a shiny   new bike in front of the tree on Christmas  morning it's a real smile but those blue eyes   appear to be just a little bit watery it's  kind of our first time at Disneyland look   you're just so happy you don't know what else  to do but cry I think that photo is one of the   most remarkable pictures ever taken of anyone  there's no other photos of Armstrong that even   comes close there's joy in that look the kind  of deep deep Pride you must feel after finally   realizing that you've just done the single  most difficult task in the history of the world   and there's not just pride in those eyes  either there's an overwhelming sense of   relief it's strong enough to come forward half  a century and still knock the wind out of you   600 million people that was everyone  on Earth who could get to a TV set   had watched this one man carry the weight of  all Humanity the dreams and sweat of the 375   000 people who worked on Project Apollo were  with him too as well as the blood of Gus Grissom   Ed White Roger Chaffee Elliot C and Charlie  Bassett any one of whom might have been the   person in the picture if luck and timing had gone  a different way Neil looks like a man who has the   satisfaction of having carried all of that weight  for all of that time and finished the job without   screwing the pooch now Apollo 11 was the first  of six lunar Landings but something had ended   once those parachutes appeared in the sky and  Colombia came down and splashed into the ocean   Space Race was over war was over and we won but  without that tightly wound spring it would end   up shocking all of us Apollo kids who'd grown  up in the space age and thought that this was   just the very beginning of an endless Adventure  that how fast everything could come to an end   and disappear like a rocket contrail heading  ever higher into the heavens three two one commit stop Apollo 12 may have been the  worst sequel in Showbiz history Tranquility   base 2 Electric Boogaloo uh yeah there were  some decent moments Apollo 12 got struck by   lightning on the way up that was pretty cool  although just like the near disaster on the   landing of Apollo 11 we wouldn't know just  how serious that was until many years later actually Apollo 12 got hit twice the first strike  at 36 seconds knocked all three fuel cells offline   a second strike at 52 seconds knocked out Apollo  12's Artificial Horizon indicator these two   lightning strikes lit every warning light in the  capsule called Yankee Clipper and every light back   at Mission Control as well it looked like that  crew escape rocket was going to get a chance to be   on live TV after all no one at that instant knew  just how badly Yankee Clipper had been damaged   Apollo 12 Houston uh we can start getting that  platform squared away go IMU power standby and   then back to on and we'll get her caged up  the electrical environmental and consumables   manager known as Ecom and Mission Control was  operated at that moment by a man named John Aaron   he alone recognized the pattern of the failures  from an earlier test when a power supply on an   instrumentation unit just blew a fuse now this  is where the dividends pay off when you treat   a flight crew like a group of individuals rather  than a technological Army of foot soldiers in a   tight top-down hierarchy Aaron had the confidence  in himself and in his bosses for him to get on the   mic without hesitation and Satan Apollo 12 Houston  Try SCE to auxiliary over this was a long way from   a routine failure it had been simulated briefly  over a year before but lunar module pilot Alan   Bean remembered it somehow and when he reached  out to find that obscure switch inflicted over   to auxiliary the fuel cells instantly came back  online Telemetry began to flow back to Houston   and Mission Commander P Conrad could stop glancing  over at that abort button Aaron and Bean's quick   thinking had saved the mission earning the Ecom  desk jockey enough brownie points to achieve the   Priceless Award of being called a steely-eyed  missile man in front of the entire launch Team   also had saved the mission which was good because  a few days later Alan Bean was going to screw   the pooch Big Time Alan beam quite by accident  you understand was about to make Apollo 12 the   Forgotten Landing you're coming into the picture  now Pete they had that may have been a small deal   but that's along with Ruby now one of the great  Hypes regarding the second lunar Landing was that   Apollo 12 would not carry those blurry black and  white TV cameras but rather new state-of-the-art   gear that would show the surface of the Moon In  Living Color Conrad Bean and the lunar module   Intrepid made a brilliant absolutely Pinpoint  Landing just close enough for them to walk 600   feet or so to visit the unmanned surveyor 3 Lander  which had landed back in April of 1967. it was the   first and only time that humans have been able to  visit the space probes that came before them and   paved the way Intrepid landed in the Southeastern  corner of Oceanus proscillarum that's the ocean   of storms now this particular piece of real estate  had been visited three times before Apollo 12. the   surveyor III probe from 1967 which they examined  the Soviet Luna 5 Mission in 1965 would have made   the first soft landing on the moon but the Retro  Rockets failed and it just dug another crater   to fly over launch of the Ranger missions was  accomplished by an atlas agena combination from   Cape Kennedy first of them was America's Ranger  7 which in July of 1964 also crashed into the   moon but that was the mission plan for Ranger  7 it was designed to crash in the moon NASA's   Ranger 7s impacted the moon in a pre-selected  Target area it also took the first image of the   Moon obtained from an American space probe and  4 300 more of them as it rocketed into the moon   at 2 300 miles per hour the last image recorded  objects about a foot wide this traffic jam in the   Southeastern end of the ocean of storms had drawn  so much attention that the iau the international   astronomical Union a multinational Consortium of  leading astronomers which is among other things   responsible for approving every single name on  every single feature that we discover out in space   while the iau decided that after four  missions and two craters that particular   patch of ancient lava would henceforth  be named mayor Cognito the known sea   now unfortunately we didn't get to see that  Apollo 12 is the missing mission for so many of us   because as being followed Conrad down the ladder  to become the Fourth Man on the Moon his first   task was to set up the brand new widely hyped  color camera but Alan Bean who understandably   was probably pretty excited ended up missing a  procedure and he removed the lens cover before   he had the camera securely in place that camera  got pointed for a few moments directly at the Sun   the delicate Electronics in the camera fried  almost immediately and we didn't see anything on   Apollo 12. that means for most of us like it never  happened that's the power of the image for you a needless to say the next mission Apollo 13  would be historic Apollo 13 was the first and   only mission to the Moon that I clearly  saw on the pad go off with my own eyes   also there was some kind of an explosion  apparently I could afford to be a little   flip about this because there's nothing I can add  to that magnificent work that Ron Howard Tom Hanks   Ed Harris Bill Paxton Kevin Bacon and Gary Sinise  did on the movie Apollo 13 based on the book lost   Moon by Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell it is hands  down the best non-fiction Space movie ever made uh faulty wiring to an oxygen tank caused an  explosion in the service module crippling power   bleeding oxygen and basically turning the Command  Module Odyssey into a dead spacecraft [Applause]   we've had a problem here the lunar module Aquarius was a completely  separate spacecraft conveniently docked to   the nose of the Odyssey Aquarius would become  the Lifeboat that would get those three men Jim   Lovell Jack Swaggart and Fred Hayes back to  Earth but not before going to the Moon first now huddled inside the limb the three men  were at high risk of Suffocation not from   lack of oxygen there was plenty of that but  from the accumulation of carbon dioxide which   is normally removed from the air by chemical  scrubbers the lamb was designed for two men   over three days it didn't have the scrubbers  that the Command Module had which was enough   for three men and eight or nine days but with  the fuel cells on the Command Module not working   that simply wasn't going to help now there were  plenty of canisters in the Command Module but   they were designed only for the Command Module the  ones in Aquarius had a completely different intake   now I'm probably my favorite moment of the movie  Engineers take the canisters they take socks tape   lunar sample bags every single thing actually  on board both spacecraft and they just dump   it onto a table in a conference room and one of  the guys holds up the square peg of the Command   Module canister to the round hole of the lunar  module scrubber and basically says we have to   make this fit into this with that that scene is so  critical to understanding how we got to the Moon   because it was a combination of intricately  laid out precisely detailed and painstakingly   rehearsed procedures for every single  type of emergency that NASA could imagine   but here they were with an emergency that they  couldn't have imagined and the ability to switch   mental gears from rigid adherence to precise  procedures and switching suddenly to kind of   a freestyle out of the box throw the spaghetti on  the wall to see if it sticks kind of improvisation   well that encapsulates the success of the entire  program and there's one more thing that that movie   gets exactly right and that's flight director Gene  krantz's attitude failure is not an option and   that's not just something printed below the logo  of some insurance company he means it literally   and don't come to me until you can find a  way to get these guys back home in one piece you know there's another Aviation story I heard  when I was Learning to Fly Chuck Yeager once found   himself in a flat spin it was unrecoverable  everything you try to do with power Rudder   ailerons nothing was working and he's heading  downstairs like an anvil Jaeger eventually found   a way to recover now the way I heard it he said  essentially that he couldn't get the plane out   of the flat spin but he did think it was possible  to flip it over into an inverted spin and he knew   how to get out of one of those who thinks like  this we're in horrible shape and we have to make   it worse in order to make it better ignition  sequence start five four three two one zero   lines commit liftoff we have liftoff with Apollo  14 three minutes past the hour Apollo 14 launched   on January 31st 1971 was the last of the H  missions and was headed to from morrow which   was Apollo 13's intended Landing site but this was  no longer a relatively safe and mostly secure flat   and featureless lunar Sea from morrow it's much  older one of the lunar Highlands which means that   the Apollo 14 photos are the first to show actual  terrain there are Hills in these pictures Rolling   Hills and not very tall this actually adds  a great deal of reality to that magnificent   desolation that Aldrin described on Apollo 11 and  which we didn't see thanks to a blinded TV camera   on Apollo 12. Mission Commander Alan Shepard had  waited patiently for 10 years for this moment if   NASA had not decided to test the Mercury capsule  with ham astrochimp 65 then Alan Shepard would   have been the first man in space with that delay  allowed Yuri Gagarin that well-deserved honor   that was a pretty tough hit for Shepard back in  1961 when he told his wife that the first man in   space was standing in that very room Louise  said who let a Russian in here that Russian   Yuri Gagarin was killed in a training flight in  1967. he died before witnessing the first moon  

landing with Apollo 11 and just nine months before  Apollo 8 made the first journey into lunar orbit   Alan Shepard however was alive and well 10 years  later and he got to walk on the moon he was the   oldest man to walk on the moon and the only one  of the original Mercury Seven astronauts to do so Alan Shepard had been grounded due to an  inner ear condition for most of those 10 years   so he joined fellow Mercury astronaut the  also grounded Deke Slayton as chief of the   astronaut office in 1963. now this was a valuable  place to be during that 10-year Hiatus and when   a new surgical procedure corrected his inner  ear problem Shepard was back in the rotation   even if your business happens to be going to  the moon it's always good to have friends in   high places and sometimes it's not just what  you know it's who you know fellow Mercury 7   astronaut Gordon Cooper who unlike Shepard flew  a Gemini Mission Gemini 5 with Pete Conrad who   just returned from the Moon on Apollo 12 had been  slated to be the commander of the backup crew for   Apollo 10. Now using the usual rotation schedule  that would have made Cooper the mission Commander   for the planned moonwalk of Apollo 13. Slayton  had his doubts about coop Cooper was rumored to  

have a LAX attitude towards training having  had to be repeatedly coaxed into the Gemini   simulator or so it was said so Slayton inserted  his Deputy Shepherd as the commander of Apollo 13.   now this created its own set of problems and  not just with a justifiably furious Leroy   Gordon Cooper Shepard actually asked Jim mcdivitt  commander of Apollo 9 and the first man to test   the lemon Earth orbit if he would join his team as  the lunar module pilot for a walk on the moon as   part of Apollo 13. mcdivitt declined with thanks  he flat out turned him down on the grounds that   Shepard lacked the experience to command a moon  mission now the response of the first American in   space to this refusal on the part of Jim mcdivitt  is not recorded but mcdivitt had a point Shepard   could use more training so Deke Slayton had a talk  with Jim Lovell who had been on the first flight   to orbit but not land on the moon on Apollo 8  back in 1968. Lovell had headed up the backup crew   for Apollo 11 which again going by the standard  rotation protocol made level commander of Apollo   14. Deek Slayton asked Lovell if he and his crew  would switch missions with Shepard to give Shepard   more training time now offered a chance to walk  on the moon several months earlier than expected   Lovell agreed to the switch what could possibly  go wrong Apollo 13 went wrong and there were more   delays as modifications were made to the service  module after the near fatal explosion on Apollo   13. Jim Lovell went to the moon twice but he never  landed on it and for the rest of their lives every   time Shepherd and Lovell would find themselves  in each other's company Lovell would ask jokingly   but a little wistfly also if Shepard wanted to  switch missions back to the original schedule   meanwhile Gordo Cooper was pushed back to the  later Apollo missions and he could already see the   writing was on the wall Apollo 20 was canceled due  to lack of funding there were serious doubts about   Apollo's 18 and 19. so L Gordon Cooper resigned  from NASA and the Air Force on July 31 1970.  

he was battling Parkinson's disease when he  died of a heart attack at his home in Ventura   California on October 4th 2004 that was the 47th  anniversary of the launch of Sputnik one which had   started the whole thing dying in 2004 was not the  end of Gordo's space flights not by a long shot   Gordo Cooper went on to fly aboard a capsule  that was lost in the mountains for several   weeks Gordo Cooper was aboard spacex's Falcon  1 rocket when it exploded two minutes into its   flight Gordo Cooper flew on a successful mission  to the International Space Station Gordo Cooper   was burned into incandescence as he re-entered the  atmosphere without a spacesuit joining him on two   of those missions presumably as flight engineer  was Montgomery Scott Scotty on the original   Star Trek series played by actor James Dewan both  duhens and Cooper's ashes repeatedly failed to be   released in outer space both men had been battling  tough diseases prior to their deaths neither one   of them were quitters or complainers now both  finally made it to Earth orbit on spacex's   unmanned second mission to the International Space  Station on May 22nd 2012. both of them re-entered   the Earth's atmosphere about a month later and  some remains of mercury and Germany astronaut   Cooper and chief engineer Montgomery Scott  is still up there and they always will be but Alan Shepard got his moon mission the  Apollo 14 lunar module Antares undocked   with the command service module Kitty Hawk piloted  by Stuart Russa and began its descent to framaro   after hand flying Antares even closer to its  intended landing spot than any other Apollo   Mission before us since Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr  stepped off of the foot pad and onto the lunar   surface in utter silence his mind on other things  apparently because he'd walk several yards away   from the lamb before remarking quietly as if to  himself and it's been a long way but we're here   now apparently preparing for his imminent  retirement from the space program Shepard   took a couple of swings without a t  engulfs all-time most difficult sand trap That Swing was captured on tape by his lunar  module pilot Ed Mitchell rookie astronaut   Edgar Dean Mitchell only made a single flight  into space but it was a doozy he was the sixth   human to walk on the moon was his only flight  and so ended the H series of Apollo missions   now Apollo 15 was supposed to be an H Mission  but as that deep dark shadow of budget cuts   and waning enthusiasm stretched ever longer  in the lunar Twilight NASA realized that it   had better fly while the flying was still  good Neil Armstrong's fellow crew member on   Gemini 8 Dave Scott who'd publicly marveled at  Armstrong's skill and coolness under pressure   and who then went on to Pilot The Command  Module in Earth orbit back on Apollo 9.   was selected as Mission Commander for this  first of the long duration Apollo J missions   Ricky's Al Warden Command Module pilot and Jim  Irwin as lunar module pilot would join Scott   on this all-air Force flight they had named the  lunar module Falcon after the mascot of the Air   Force Academy The Command Module they christened  endeavor the space race was back on in Earnest   by this time but not against the Soviets it was  against the United States Congress which grew more   and more intolerant of what many saws admission  that had already been accomplished Apollo 15 was   sent to Hadley rill a genuinely mountainous  region dominated by Hadley rill itself it's   a smooth sinuous fault line in the lunar surface  looks a lot like a dry Arroyo but it's the result   of subsurface collapse rather than ancient flowing  water four zero four one four five four seven this   three-day Mission had a lot of ground to cover  there was absolutely no way to accomplish all   of the scientific objectives on foot but that  didn't stop Scott from having his way regarding   sleep cycles determined not to Mar the mission  with three full days of jet lag Scott landed   the Falcon at Hadley rill in the late afternoon  and insisted on some solid sleep prior to their   first DBA now this was made much more comfortable  by removing the pressure suits completely they   were the first Apollo crew to spend time on the  lunar surface in their shirt sleeves this strategy   apparently paid off during their three-day stay on  the lunar surface Scott and Irwin took three road   trips in their Luna Rover one of them taking  them right to the edge of Hadley real itself   together they spent an incredible 18 hours outside  of the limb bringing home 170 pounds of moon rocks   including the Genesis Rock named in the belief  that it might have been a part of the moon's   primordial crust formed 4.4 billion years ago  in a solar system that only began 4.6 billion  

years ago now alas this proved not to be the case  the Genesis rock sample number 15 for 15 pretty   remarkable coincidence when you consider it was  for Apollo 15 was later discovered to be a mere   4 billion years old well in my left hand I have  a feather my right hand a hammer Apollo 15 also   gave Mission Commander Dave Scott a great chance  to prove Galileo correct with his anti-intuitive   idea that all objects fall at the same rate  because when you get rid of the air that slows   the feather down the feather and the hammer  hit the lunar surface at exactly the same time now since that camera on the lunar rover could  be controlled from the ground in Houston Scott   and Irwin parked the buggy at what was presumably  a safe distance away from the falcon and the buggy   recorded the first video of an Apollo Ascent  stage lifting off the surface of the Moon aside from a shower of golden debris from  the four-legged descent stage there's no   rocket flame no smoke nothing would come out  of this event both smoke and Flame being a   product of a rocket engine firing on or  near the Earth's surface Falcon's second   stage climbed Skyward like a scalded ass ape  which would be test pilot jargon for rapidly   the instruction to tilt the camera as it took  off had to be sent from Earth one and a quarter   seconds before the launch occurred the radio  signal would take that long to get to the Rover   moving at a mere 186 262 miles per second speed  of light's not just a good idea it's the law   Apollo 15's lunar module pilot Jim Irwin repeated  the remarkable story of his immediate predecessor   Apollo 14's Ed Mitchell on his one and only trip  into space Jim Irwin would not only get to walk   on the moon he'd get to drive on it unlike his  Commander Dave Scott who as we record this is   one of only four surviving men to have walked on  the moon Jim Irwin died of a heart attack in 1991.   only 61 years old he was the first member to  leave the most exclusive Club in human history 7.7 John Young who'd orbited the moon  during the dress rehearsal flight of   Apollo 10 got his second trip back  as commander of Apollo 16 Bound for   the even older even more mountainous  terrain of the Descartes Highlands [Applause] Ken Mattingly pulled from the crew  of Apollo 13 three days prior to launch due to   a suspected case of German Measles that he never  actually contracted would fly his Command Module   pilot on a ship named Casper of Friendly Ghost  Fame the one departure from serious ship names   after Snoopy and Charlie Brown modules flew  the lunar Landing dress rehearsal on Apollo 10.   it was largely through Ken Mattingly's tireless  efforts in a cold wet and dark Command Module   simulator that the crew of the flight he'd  missed Apollo 13 made it back alive and well   rookie Charlie Duke would make it a hat-trick for  lunar module Pilots Apollo 16 would be his only   flight into space aboard the more impressively  named Orion the Descartes Highlands would prove   as varied and interesting as Hadley really had  been and if John Young and Charlie Duke didn't   encounter a rock as old as the Genesis Rock from  Apollo 15. they sure as hell ran into one a good  

deal larger look at the size of it House Rock a  medium-sized Boulder that had rolled down from the   Descartes Hills millions and millions of years ago  makes quite an impression when seen with an actual   human to provide some sense of scale speaking of  Impressions it was Boulders like that one that had   littered the area that Apollo 11 was Landing for  before Neil Armstrong did what he was paid to do Orion left the moon in as spectacular a fashion as  it had arrived there's a frame a still frame from   the video of the liftoff taken from the Apollo  16 Rover that looks like nothing so much as the   inside of Studio 54 in New York with golden  rays of debris blasting out like a spotlight   on a mirror ball John Young would return home  and wait almost as long as Alan Shepard did for   his next flight 10 years after leaving the moon  John Young would take the left seat as commander   of sts-1 the first space shuttle flight ride in  Colombia into orbit accompanied by Rob Crippen   young would take Colombia up again a few years  later on STS9 John Young number nine of the 12   men who've walked on the moon is one of only  three astronauts who flown to the Moon twice   he was chief of the astronaut office from  1974 until 1987 and he is the only person   in history to have flown four different  types of spacecraft the Gemini capsule   the Apollo Command Module the Apollo  lunar module and the space shuttle John Young died from complications from pneumonia   in Houston Texas on January 5th 2018  at age 87 and he has sorely missed and that left one more chance everything left  to do would have to be done on Apollo 17.   Apollo 20 had been canceled some time before in  fact Richard Nixon had wanted to cancel Apollo 16   17 18 and 19. but Office of Management and budget  deputy director Casper Weinberger who would go   on to become Ronald Reagan's secretary of defense  managed to salvage Apollo 16 and 17. Apollo 18 was   at one time targeted for the massive spectacular  terrorist crater named Copernicus Apollo 19 failed   a budget cuts as well one of its potential Landing  sites was the most spectacular formation on the   entire Moon Tycho whose brilliant white rays of  ejecta spread out for a thousand miles in every   direction but none of this was to be Apollo  17 would be Humanity's last trip to the moon Apollo 17 also brought the most bitter  disappointment of the entire Apollo program   17 Houston you're a go for orbit go for orbit  I'm not talking about the mission Apollo 17   was the most spectacular success of them all but  for yours truly by now all of 13 years old and   just three weeks short of that first telescope  when Apollo 13 launched on December 7th 1972   well that night turned out to be the single  most bitter disappointment of my entire life   Apollo 17 was not the last flight of a Saturn  V but it was the first and only night launch of   the world's biggest Roman candle and I son of a  hotel manager still living in Bermuda was going   to be directly under it when it dropped its first  stage in an explosion of light and Vapor so there   I sat outside the house waiting was scheduled for  liftoff around 10 pm eastern time which would make   it 11 pm local time in Bermuda I think I got set  up around 9 30. I wasn't going to miss this no way   I sat watching the Western Horizon as liftoff time  approached I did never radio and the internet was   still 30 years in the future I was sure about the  launch time so I waited and when launch time came   and went I thought there must be some kind of  launch delay so I waited some more alone with   my mom and dad attending an Apollo 17 party at  the hotel which was just about a quarter of a   mile away and then I waited some more got to be  so desperate that I would see a distant airplane   and wonder if I hadn't oversold myself I waited  till about 11 30. and then I waited till midnight  

and then I waited till 1am which was the latest  I'd ever been up now having a launched scrub   wasn't all that uncommon I just get the new launch  date in the newspaper the next day and I just   prayed it'd be another night launch so I packed  up my chair and my sleeping bag and my drinks   and my snacks and I went to bed actually I first  went to the bathroom I was utterly convinced that   going to relieve myself would be what actually  triggered the Apollo 17 launch sequence so I   went to bed that night disappointed certainly but  hardly crushed I was woken up about an hour later   by my mother I remember her exact words she said  Billy wasn't that simply unbelievable that was   the most beautiful thing I have ever seen [Music]  what was the most beautiful thing you've ever seen   and right at that instant I could feel my  internal organs withering into grapes as it   slowly began to dawn on me the horrible  truth of what had actually happened Apollo 17 cleared the pad at 12 33 a.m Eastern  Standard Time that would be about 1 33 in the   morning where I was about 15 minutes after I'd  fallen asleep now I knew I'd fallen asleep during   a launch because my mama told me that it had  been bright enough to turn night into day and   I'm sure I would have remembered something like  that you know I think that was the moment I had   my first genuine adult thought and that was this  there are some things that happen and they can't   unhappen no matter how much you want them to it  was over it was done I missed it period the end still not over it now as I said Apollo 17 was  simply a magnificent Mission Gene cernan who'd   flown to within 10 miles of the Moon back  on Apollo 10's final rehearsal finally got   his chance he would be the 11th man to walk on  the moon and he'd be the last man to leave it   joining him on the lunar surface was Apollo's  only full-time scientist geologist Harrison   Schmidt known as Jack he was rotated to  Apollo 17 when it was finally clear that   this was going to be the last chance  to get an actual geologist on the moon   he'd be the fourth person in a row to make their  one and only trip into space a walk on the moon that's super they would ride the last lunar module  Challenger to a truly spectacular landing spot the   Taurus litro Valley they would set Challenger down  on a small Plate

2023-04-14 03:43

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