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Thread: Nixon's speech in the event of moon landing disaster

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    Insider Jim Wilke's Avatar
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    Nixon's speech in the event of moon landing disaster




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    Is Bat Boy KevMcNJ's Avatar
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    Almost needed that speech out too


    if it werent for a pen pressed into service to over-ride a busted switch
    God loves Jim Nabors

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    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

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    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevMcNJ View Post
    Almost needed that speech out too


    if it werent for a pen pressed into service to over-ride a busted switch
    It would have had to be re-worked, that speech looks like if Armstrong and Aldrin were on the moon but beyond rescue.

    No mention though of the hard-working Hollywood technicians. Shabby.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by railroad View Post
    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.
    Wouldn't be too sure about that. The suicide-pill rumor has been around for a long time, but they wouldn't really need it if all they had to do was hit a switch to depressurize the cabin. Jim Lovell said as much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Fury View Post
    Wouldn't be too sure about that. The suicide-pill rumor has been around for a long time, but they wouldn't really need it if all they had to do was hit a switch to depressurize the cabin. Jim Lovell said as much.
    Speaking of Jim, if you're ever in the Chicago area, go to his son's (James "Jay" Lovell III is the chef) restaurant up in Lake Forest...you'll often find him dinning there...

    The food's good, too...
    Ed Carpenter...2013 AND 2014 Indianapolis 500 Pole Winner!

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    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.
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    Is Bat Boy KevMcNJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by railroad View Post
    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.
    One of my books says theres no truth to that rumor.

    Like has already been stated all one would need to do is open the door.

    Just as quick

  10. #10
    How many remember that the first two chosen to land on the moon died in a jet crash?
    quote:
    "It is sad that open-wheel racing has become a buy a ride situation, but it is what it is."

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by nm View Post
    How many remember that the first two chosen to land on the moon died in a jet crash?
    No one, because they weren't.

    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....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Fury View Post
    It is interesting to think of what the world would be like had the gregarious Pete Conrad been the first man on the Moon....
    Please explain. I really dont know anyhting about him. A little more of an extrovert than Neil?

    They really couldnt have picked a bigger hermit for the most important flight ever could they?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by KevMcNJ View Post
    Please explain. I really dont know anyhting about him. A little more of an extrovert than Neil?

    They really couldnt have picked a bigger hermit for the most important flight ever could they?

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevMcNJ View Post
    One of my books says theres no truth to that rumor.

    Like has already been stated all one would need to do is open the door.

    Just as quick
    Yeah, it may just be urban legend.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Fury View Post
    No one, because they weren't.

    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....
    It was several years ago, and I do not remember where I read it, but I did read an article that claimed the first crew selected for the first landing was killed in a jet crash.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by nm View Post
    It was several years ago, and I do not remember where I read it, but I did read an article that claimed the first crew selected for the first landing was killed in a jet crash.
    Article was wrong.

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    Godspeed to all involved with the space program! You are my heroes. God bless!

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    Pete Conrad was a heckuva guy...he left us too soon.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by rrrr View Post
    Pete Conrad was a heckuva guy...he left us too soon.
    True that. He left us in 1999. Motorcycle accident.

    Pete overcame dyslexia to fly.

  20. #20
    Insider Jim Wilke's Avatar
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    with one of the 3 matching Vettes the crew drove
    Did they get those Corvettes from Jim Rathmann Chevrolet?

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Wilke View Post
    Did they get those Corvettes from Jim Rathmann Chevrolet?
    They may have, but by 1968-69 I think they were getting them directly from Chevrolet itself.

    The deal was going on at least as late as Apollo 15 in 1971:



    L-R: LMP James Irwin, CMP Al Worden, CDR Dave Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Fury View Post
    Article was wrong.
    Hey Sea Fury

    Would Grissom have been first had the "Apollo 1" accident not happened?
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by lotuspoweredbyford View Post
    Hey Sea Fury

    Would Grissom have been first had the "Apollo 1" accident not happened?
    He would have had a good shot. It would depend on how the rest of the program went. But had the fire not happened, what would have happened? It took the review of the fire to point out the technical and organizational problems that NASA and North American were having at the rate they were going. Would it have been worse to have the fire during a test on the pad like it was, or some other accident with a Block I Command Module in space that would leave 3 dead astronauts floating around for eternity with no hope for an investigation into the cause? Because I think, at the rate they were crashing along, something bad was inevitably going to happen. Not to mention the fact that the fire actually gave Grumman a bit of breathing room schedule wise to get the LM finished. That was a just-under-the-wire accomplishment even as it was.

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