Almost needed that speech out too
if it werent for a pen pressed into service to over-ride a busted switch
"I was thinking about retiring, but I think I'll stick around a few more years just to aggravate him" -Billy Pauch
You'll note that Michael Collins is not included in the speech. The SPS engine still had to work; after undocking, an accident like Apollo 13 would have the next year with no Lunar Module to live in would have been fatal; the heat shield had to work; the parachutes had to open....
Additionally, all Command Module Pilots trained to fly the CSM back to Earth alone if they had to. Thankfully they never had to. Could you imagine, after training with those two guys for almost 2 years, flying to the Moon with them-and then having to leave them behind to eternity, and fly home 3 days by yourself, with only your thoughts and the voices on the radio to keep you company....
"Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang
"If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio
IIRC, Armstrong and Aldrin had cyanide capsules to use if they couldn't leave the Moon and decided to make a quick end of things.
Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end the faster it goes. - Andy Rooney
"An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996
One of my dad's duties when he was with NASA was to brief Nixon about what was happening. Too bad he's gone and I can't ask about this. We never talked about the bad that happened. Although shortly before he passed away, he made some comments about the fire that chilled the soul. I have no interest in remembering, must less repeating.
My climbing buddy in Calif had a female friend that was the niece of Bob Halderman. They went to a family event and he hung out with Uncle Bob for the weekend.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be misquoted and used against you.
How many remember that the first two chosen to land on the moon died in a jet crash?
"It is sad that open-wheel racing has become a buy a ride situation, but it is what it is."
Astronauts killed in T-38 crashes prior to Apollo 11:
Ted Freeman-never flew in space, crashed on Halloween 1964, prior to first Gemini flight
Elliot See and Charlie Bassett-neither had flown in space, Prime Crew of Gemini 9, killed in single T-38 crash 2/28/66
CC Williams-Prime Crew LMP on Apollo 12, but never flew in space, killed in solo T-38 accident, 10/5/67
Of these men, only Williams had any realistic shot at being on the first lunar landing at the time of his death, and that would have required something bad to happen to Apollo 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11.
It is interesting to think of what the world would be like had the gregarious Pete Conrad been the first man on the Moon....
Dick Gordon and Pete Conrad, standing, were the Backup Crew for Gemini 8 Prime Crew Dave Scott and Neil Armstrong, seated.
"If you can't be good, be colorful."-Pete Conrad. (He was both.)
"That might have been a small one for Neil, but it's a long one for me."-Pete Conrad setting foot on the Moon. (He was one of the shortest astronauts.)
Pete Conrad and Gordo Cooper aboard the recovery carrier, U.S.S. Lake Champlain, after Gemini 5.
"If you don't know what to do, don't do anything."-Pete Conrad (recalling his Apollo 12 lightning strike).
Yet that lightning strike also illustrated the kind of nerve it takes to be a test pilot and astronaut. Conrad (like Armstrong) was a Korean War veteran Naval Aviator, flying Panthers from straight-deck Essex-class carriers, and had been a fighter test pilot at Pax River in the 1950s (along with Wally Schirra and Alan Shepard); it used to be his job to be one of the first guys to land a new jet fighter on a carrier. That takes a lot of skill, nerve, and smarts. He's in charge of a $400,000,000 lunar mission, sitting on the end of a speeding Saturn V that's still packing a couple of million pounds of LOX, kerosene and liquid hydrogen, and has just taken 2 lightning bolts. Every warning light on the panel just lit up. He's the Commander; he has his hand on the ABORT handle. All he has to do is twist it. He doesn't.
The crew of Apollo 12, l-r: CDR Pete Conrad, CMP Dick Gordon (with one of the 3 matching Vettes the crew drove), LMP Al Bean.
Pete Conrad and a special guest at breakfast the morning of the Apollo 12 launch.
He also drove race cars (SCCA formula cars and sports cars, including a couple of high-profile endurance races). Hung out with some of the top drivers. Some say he was the one that clued Bill Simpson in to the use of Nomex (which NASA was using) for fire-retardant racing suits.
As for Armstrong, one thing to remember is that Neil came along at a time when being an astronaut carried a certain degree of celebrity by itself, and he was also personally acquainted with Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The Lindberghs, who were among the few people alive at the time who would have known the kind of exposure the first man on the Moon would encounter, knew first-hand what kind of price and responsibility such celebrity entailed. Neil Armstrong is simply a very private person. He knew that he must ration his public image very carefully, to preserve the dignity of the accomplishment.
Pete Conrad would have been a great spokesperson for the event, of course; he would have given NASA a huge amount of publicity. Who knows, the space program might have benefited more from that. But with Armstrong holding that mantle, in the long run he may be a better historical figure than Conrad, if you see what I mean.
Last edited by Sea Fury; 08-12-2012 at 09:08 PM.
Godspeed to all involved with the space program! You are my heroes. God bless!
Pete Conrad was a heckuva guy...he left us too soon.
Did they get those Corvettes from Jim Rathmann Chevrolet?with one of the 3 matching Vettes the crew drove
"I think of Indianapolis every day of the year, every
hour of the day, and when I sleep, too. Everything I
ever wanted in my life, I found inside the walls of
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
- Eddie Sachs.