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Old 07-20-2009, 08:23 PM   #21
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A month shy of graduating from college, I was a groomsman at a wedding that evening and all the guys in the wedding party were nervous we would miss the big event. Well, all the guys but the groom - he was nervous too, but for a very different reason.

We gave the groom heck for allowing his bride to schedule their wedding to conflict with the biggest event in modern history. However, just prior to the start of the ceremony we managed to catch Uncle Walter's broadcast of the landing on a TV we found in a small side room at the church. I ducked out of the reception early (along with quite a few others) so I could make it home in time to see Neil Armstrong step off the ladder.

Like others here, I have been a space junkie since childhood. I did a presentation to my 7th grade science class on the then newly-released details of how we planned to carry out the mission to land a man on the moon. I had no idea that 11 years later I would have an encounter with one of the heroes of Apollo 13 and gain one more "did I ever tell you about the time..." story I can use to bore my grandkids.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:30 PM   #22
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I was 14 and watched it with my parents, sister and brother in our family room.We were living in the suburbs of Cleveland, OH. I think I was more interested in it than my siblings. I remember being on the floor, closest to the TV, trying to see all the details. I'm sure one of my parents was talking over the whole thing. We did make a point of seeing it together.
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:09 PM   #23
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Watched it with all my brothers and sisters (and made sure to see the steps together, too) on our oh so marginal Black and White TV. No complaints about the picture quality or reception - it was coming from the MOON! I was old enough to somewhat understand the significance of the achievement, but my parents were completely awestruck. I so remember Walter Cronkite's distinctive voice and forever associate it with space travel.
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:23 PM   #24
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I was in a bar called the Apollo room (underage). It was a bit of a dive, but if you could reach the door handle, they served you. The owner was a big space fan. Had pictures of previous Apollo missions all over the walls.
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:38 PM   #25
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I was in grade 2 and due to the time difference the landing happened during school hours. We were all herded to the TV room to watch the landing.
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:46 PM   #26
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I was 11 years old and absolutely obsessed with the space program. Watched the big event in our living room in Montana.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:35 PM   #27
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Watched it with the family, at age 14. I could go on for pages about all this stuff, but looking back at some of the reports, wiki, and youtube today, a couple things really stand out:

1) This was not just the first manned moon landing, but on this very first attempt, both astronauts got out, walked on the moon, took samples, ran experiments... wow, that all added a lot of risk and "dimension" to an already incredibly risky program.

2) The LEM had never really been tested before. There was no unmanned landing with that thing (other components were tested with lunar orbits). They really could not have all that much certainty that it could land and take off again - they never tried before!

3) Recall that during the landing, the computer kept giving "Execution Errors" (apparently there was more data coming in from the radar than expected - again, they never were able to fully test this stuff), and they overshot the landing area, had to maneuver as it was too rough, and landed with ~ 20 *seconds* of fuel left...

4) I read some transcripts to put that 20 seconds of fuel into perspective:

The First Lunar Landing

* at 700', he IDs the landing spot as a "rocky area"
* a minute later, at 260' he says he sees a "good area"
* 1:20 after the first "rocky area" call, he IDs a "good spot" (~170')
* 2 minutes after "rocky" he is told they have 60 seconds of fuel.
* more comp overflows, and ~ 2min and 20 seconds in, they are told they have 30 seconds of fuel ~ 20'.

* Contact - 2min 30sec after that first "rocky" call and just 20 seconds of fuel left.

That is cutting it close! Now, "all" they have to worry about is a moon walk, no atmosphere, experiments, take off(!), docking, re-entry, getting plucked out of the ocean....

It's a miracle they pulled this off.

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Old 07-20-2009, 11:58 PM   #28
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13 years old, at the Boy Scout's National Jamboree in Idaho. We all gathered in a big ampitheater to listen to it on the radio. I remember being thrilled when the astronauts sent us (the scouts) a message from the moon. All astronauts were Eagle Scouts back then, of course. One of my greatest memories.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:05 AM   #29
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I was in the Army, at the CCTV television station at West Point. I volunteered to come in and capture the live video on video tape in the middle of the night. One of the highlights of my life.

Another highlight: Woodstock happened while I was there--but I didn't go. Close was good enough.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:37 AM   #30
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I was living in my custom van in the St Pete beach area i remember being at Pass a Grille beach. listening to a Cream album on the 8 track and the moon landing on the radio, it was a thought provoking sunset that evening...
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:55 AM   #31
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Just home from 1st year of Law school with the nice surprise that against all odds I had passed with remarkable marks my courses. But I didnīt watch the event. I was 18.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:06 AM   #32
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Nineteen years old, watched it with awe and fascination in my parent's living room. I've been enamored with things that fly since I was old enough to say "airplane" and the moon landing was the ultimate.

I was living at home and attending the local community college, working part time at a gas station, back when someone pumped the gas, cleaned the windshield and checked the oil for you.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:16 AM   #33
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Radio Interview of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin

Interviewer: Neil and Buzz, thanks for joining us today to chat about this intriguing news story about ice on the moon. Buzz, did you ever have any suspicions that there might be water on the moon?
(Scuffling sound as if both Armstrong and Aldrin were trying to grab hold of the microphone.)

Aldrin: Well, the first time I suspected there might be water on the moon was when the windshield of the lunar module started icing up on our descent to the moon. I yelled over to Armstrong to turn up the windshield defroster fan a few seconds after I first noticed ice crystals forming on our windshield.

Armstrong: Gee, I can't recall the ice on the windshield, Buzz, but I do remember seeing a lake-shaped blue object on the horizon as the lunar module descended.

Aldrin: I can't recall seeing that, Neil, but I do recall that when I first stepped on the moon my foot slid along something I thought might be black ice. Fell right on my butt.

Armstrong: Sure, I remember you falling on your butt, Buzz, but that's because you forgot to tie your shoelaces before the moonwalk. How many times did I tell you, "Tie your shoelaces. Tie your shoelaces. Four billion people will be watching this moonwalk. Tie your shoelaces."?

Aldrin: Sure, I fell on my butt once on the moon, but you fell over more than a dozen times.
(At this point the interview seems to degenerate as the astronauts sound as if they're wrestling for control of the microphone.)

Armstrong: Yes, but I suspected ice on the moon after I had to use de-icing spray on the door handle of the lunar module.

Aldrin: I suspected water on the moon after the third thunderstorm.

Armstrong: But I first suspected water on the moon when I saw the recreational vehicle water hookup near the campsite where we landed on the moon.

Aldrin: I first suspected ice on the moon when I spotted Wayne Gretzky hanging around the launchpad.

Armstrong: True enough, but I first suspected ice on the moon when I noticed a fleet of Zamboni's parked not far from the lunar module landing site.

Aldrin: I suspected water on the moon right after I stepped in a huge puddle.

Armstrong: I suspected water on the moon the moment I saw a small waterfall.

Aldrin: I suspected water on the moon after our drink cooler accidentally tipped over.

Armstrong: I suspected water on the moon when my astronaut suit visor kept fogging up on the inside.

Aldrin: I suspected water on the moon when I saw what appeared to be a discarded Brita filter.

(At this point both astronauts are giggling and elbowing each other in the ribs.)

Armstrong: Yes, but I first suspected ice on the moon when I stubbed my toe on a glacier.

Aldrin: I suspected ice on the moon shortly after I put on my skates.

Armstrong: I suspected water on the moon when I came across a rock that looked very much like a water slide from a theme park.

Aldrin: Neil, I first suspected ice on the moon when our lunar rover slid off the road.

Armstrong: I first suspected water on the moon when I saw a rock that looked very similar to a fire hydrant.

Aldrin: I first suspected ice on the moon when Houston replaced their entire Mission Control staff with figure skating announcers.

Armstrong: Speaking of ice skating, Buzz, I hear that you've signed a five year contract to tour with the Ice Capades?

Aldrin: Well, if you're going to bring up the subject of contracts, I might mention the rumor that you've signed a ten year contract to dress up as Goofy
for the new hastily planned "Ice on the Moon" attraction at Disneyworld.

Armstrong: Did not!

Aldrin: Did too!

Armstrong: Not!

Aldrin: Too!

Armstrong: Not! Not!

Aldrin: Too! Too!
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:48 AM   #34
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Yesterday on the news, Brian Williams referred to it as "the day everything changed."

It was a great accomplishment, but I don't think that a lot has changed because of that day. Except for the velcro thing.

OTOH, if this had happened...

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Old 07-21-2009, 10:10 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Yesterday on the news, Brian Williams referred to it as "the day everything changed."

It was a great accomplishment, but I don't think that a lot has changed because of that day. Except for the velcro thing.
Velcro was not a space-age thing, but they did use it, and maybe popularized it:

wiki
Quote:
The hook-loop fastener was invented in 1941 by Swiss engineer, George de Mestral[5][7][8] who lived in Commugny, Switzerland. The idea came to him one day after returning from a hunting trip with his dog in the Alps. He took a close look at the burrs (seeds) of burdock that kept sticking to his clothes and his dog's fur.
And Tang was only used on the Gemini flights - I found this interesting:

Quote:
"... There was a particular component of the Gemini life support-system module which produced H2O (water) among other things. This was a byproduct of a recurring chemical reaction of one of the mechanical devices on the life-support module. The astronauts would use this water to drink during their space flight. The problem was, the astronauts did not like the taste of the water because of some of the byproducts produced, which were not harmful of course. So, they added Tang to make the water taste better ..."[7]
That would make some great ad copy, no? "Tang - most astronauts prefer it to plain fuel cell waste water! Hmmm!"


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Old 07-21-2009, 11:06 AM   #36
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At home, watching on the little black and white tv with dad and the sibs. It felt like we could do anything.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:21 AM   #37
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If you are old enough, do you remember where you were? I was at our house (provided by the Embassy) in Manila. I believe it was early morning and my parents and some of the neighbors were around the TV watching the live broadcast.
I was in the Army stationed at the Kimpo Barracks in Seoul, Korea. I was in an electronics support unit. When the landing occurred we were called into the office and watched the landing on a teeny tiny B&W TV. The Vietnam War was raging, and everybody in our unit was well aware of this. For this reason, for me, the Moon landing and the Vietnam War are joined at the hip. A few years ago, I was surprised to learn to many younger people have no idea the the Moon landing was contemporaneous with the Vietnam War.

About a year before the landing, I was stationed at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. The Marshall Space Flight Center is located in the Arsenal. MSFC was the stomping grounds of Werner von Braun and the place where the Saturn V rocket engines were developed. I remember getting off work and catching a quick snooze on my bunk just as they started testing an engine. My bunk shook all over the place. This is probably the most vivid memory I have of the space program.

At the time, I thought that we were taking baby steps into space and that the really interesting stuff was ahead of us. For this reason, I didn't pay much attention to what was going on. I didn't realize back then that what I was observing was as good as it was going to get.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:51 AM   #38
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The MSFC/Redstone Arsenal gives a nice tour -- at least they used to. Haven't been there in some years.

Interesting that a fair number of posters seem to share the view that Saturn V / Apollo was as good as it got. Me too. However I was a little excited the first time a shuttle went out to repair a satelite.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:10 PM   #39
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I can't believe no one has said "the earth".

I watched a program last night showing the moon landing. It sent shivers up and down my spine.

I feel inclined to post this....
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:12 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Yesterday on the news, Brian Williams referred to it as "the day everything changed."

It was a great accomplishment, but I don't think that a lot has changed because of that day.
Right after 9/11 there were many talking heads saying things like "life in America will never be the same again".
Similarly to Al, I've seen little noticeable difference in our daily lives other than hassles at airports due to that day. In both cases I don't get why they make these type of statements. Is it for dramatic effect?
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