Apollo 11 & The Moon Landings

rynner2

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With the 40th anniversary of the first landing coming up, a thread to celebrate this magnificent achievement:

The moon shoot: film of Apollo mission on show again after 35 years in the can
Film-maker reveals how Stonehenge inspired inside look at the lunar landings
Sam Jones The Guardian, Tuesday 26 May 2009

When Nasa handed Theo Kamecke $350,000 (£220,115) and asked him to chronicle humankind's first footsteps on the moon, the film-maker's thoughts did not turn to Flash Gordon or the Sea of Tranquillity, or even to little Laika, barking uselessly into space. They crept towards a famous pile of monoliths in Wiltshire.

"The year before the moonwalk, I happened to be in England and persuaded some guys to drive me to see the dawn at Stonehenge," he said. "When [the film] came up, I right away saw the connection … It took a lot of thinking and a lot of effort and just a force of will to drag those stones to an empty field in the times when you only had deer antler to dig with.

"And it was the same kind of thing of stretching technology to its ultimate limits to be able to get somebody off this planet and walking on another one."

Kamecke's decision to cut from footage of daybreak at Stonehenge to shots of the vast "crawler" tractor dragging the Apollo 11 Saturn rocket to the launchpad at Cape Canaveral sets the tone for Moonwalk One, which has not been seen for 35 years.

Working with a reduced budget and the vaguest of briefs ("The Nasa guy said, 'Give me a time capsule' and I said, 'That's what you're going to get, buddy'"), Kamecke set out to make a film that reflected on the epochal event even as it recorded it.

To give the moon landing a context that was as human as it was historical, Kamecke, then 30, travelled around the US to film the women who sewed the astronauts' gloves and suits, the men who pulverised their bodies in centrifuges and ejector seats, and the thousands of ordinary people who stared into the sky on 20 July 1969 and tried to comprehend that a fellow member of their species was now striding across the face of the moon.

After Moonwalk One had been shown in a few east coast cinemas, picked up a special prize at Cannes and been screened worldwide in 1974, Kamecke stashed the 12,000ft of original film in two octagonal cans under his desk and moved on to other things.

The film, which is now being restored and will be released on DVD next month before of the 40th anniversary of the flight of Apollo 11, was rediscovered after the British producer and director Chris Riley, a long-time fan and occasional pilferer of its contents, got in touch with Kamecke to ask if, by any chance, he still had the original. Kamecke did.

The 71-year-old film-maker and sculptor came to London this month to oversee the production, revisit the film and moan about British coffee. 8)

Despite claiming not to have thought too much about Moonwalk One over the last four decades, Kamecke's recollections of the film and its aims remain sharp.

"I wanted to make a film that had kind of an epic quality that just captured the sense of life on Earth as our species stepped off the Earth," he said.

"Of course there were the usual kind of scenes that you would expect of the launch control or places where the ­technicians and astronauts were – which is all very sterile – and then there were the people who came down in the millions to spill ketchup on each other and eat ­hot dogs and dance and just celebrate it as a human moment … All over the world, people were glued to their television screens, just mouths agape, just wondering about this moment when something changed. They didn't know exactly what, but something changed at that point."

Of the many shots that made up the 96-minute original, two still stand out for Kamecke.

In one, "little old grandmothers" are using foot-pedal sewing machines for the fine stitching of the spacesuits. "[They were] hoping that it was their pair of gloves that the astronaut had on and it was just so charming," he said. "They were using machines that had been used since 1900 to stitch together these suits with which men were going to go into space." :D

In the other, a little Chinese boy stands beside a basin and washes his face on the morning of the moon landing.

"This was the moment when man was leaving his planet and here was this kid with just ordinary 20th century stuff and having no idea what the future was, which is what I wanted the film to be – we have no idea of the future – but the film asks that it be open-ended."

Kamecke, who now spends his time in the New York countryside making intricate sculptures from circuit boards, is pleased that Moonwalk One is being ­resurrected after its 40-year stay beneath his desk.

"It's really nice that it's happening and, if I had to guess back then, I probably would have guessed maybe 40, 50 years is going to have to go by before it's going to become interesting again."

Looking back, would he have done anything differently to what he calls his "open-ended time capsule"?

"That's a crazy question to ask a film-maker," he said. "They'd probably do everything differently and sometimes it would have been a mistake to do it differently, because sometimes it was perfect the way it was."

Kamecke's only regret, in fact, is that no one ever offered him the chance to travel 238,855 miles and take a stroll in one of the lovingly stitched suits whose creation he captured. "Oh, heck if somebody had asked me I would have said yes in a flash. Sure. But nobody asked me. It was before tourist space travel."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/may ... nniversary
 

rynner2

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How Nasa put man on the moon
guardian.co.uk, Monday 25 May 2009 23.49 BST

1961 25 May President John F Kennedy says: "I believe this nation should ­commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

1967 27 Jan What would have been the first manned Apollo mission ends in tragedy when Virgil "Gus" ­Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee are killed in a fire on the launch pad during a test at Kennedy Space Centre.

1968 11-22 Oct The next manned mission, Apollo 7, makes 163 orbits of Earth. 21-27 Dec Apollo 8 escapes Earth's gravitational field and loops around the moon.

1969 3-13 March Apollo 9 completes first human test of the lunar module.

18-26 May Apollo 10 orbits the moon and the lunar module drops to within nine miles of moon's surface.

16-24 July Apollo 11 crew members Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin land on the moon. President Richard Nixon tells them by phone: "For one priceless moment, in the whole history of man, all the people on this Earth are truly one."

14-24 Nov Apollo 12 crew lands on the moon and brings back parts of the Surveyor 3 probe, which had landed there in 1967.

1970 11-17 April The crew of Apollo 13 get into difficulty – "Houston, we've had a problem," – after an oxygen tank explosion. Their dramatic return to Earth was turned into a film.

1971-72 Four more manned Apollo missions land on the moon. On 7-11 December, humans walk on the moon for the final time – so far.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/ ... xploration
 

rynner2

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Much ado about the littlest word..! ;)

Armstrong's 'poetic' slip on Moon
By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News

Neil Armstrong missed out an "a" and did not say "one small step for a man" when he set foot on the Moon in 1969, a linguistic analysis has confirmed.

The researchers show for the first time that he intended to say "a man" and that the "a" may have been lost because he was under pressure.

They say that although the phrase was not strictly correct, it was poetic.

And in its rhythm and the symmetry of its delivery, it perfectly captured the mood of an epic moment in history.

There is also new evidence that his inspirational first words were spoken completely spontaneously - rather than being pre-scripted for him by Nasa or by the White House.

In the recording of Neil Armstrong's iconic phrase he says: "One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind". However, "man" and "mankind" mean much the same thing in this context.

But on returning to Earth, he explained that he thought he had said "one small step for a man".

Explanations offered for the discrepancy are that perhaps transmission static wiped out the "a" or that Commander Armstrong's Ohio accent meant that his "a's" were spoken softly.

In 2006, an analysis by an Australian entrepreneur added credence to these explanations - as it found there was a gap for the "a". However, subsequent analyses disputed this conclusion.

To settle the argument, Dr Chris Riley, author of the new Haynes book Apollo 11, An Owner's Manual, and forensic linguist John Olsson carried out the most detailed analysis yet of Neil Armstrong's speech patterns.

"For me that phrase is of great significance," said Dr Riley.

"It has been an important part of my life and those words sum up much of the optimism of the later part of the 20th Century."

Using archive material of Neil Armstrong speaking, recorded throughout and after the mission, Riley and Olsson also studied the best recordings of the Apollo 11 mission audio ever released by Nasa.

They have been taken from the original magnetic tape recordings made at Johnson Space Center, Houston, which have recently been re-digitised to make uncompressed, higher-fidelity audio recordings.

These are discernibly clearer than earlier, more heavily compressed recordings used by the Australian investigation.

These clearer recordings indicate that there was not room for an "a". A voice print spectrograph clearly shows the "r" in "for" and "m" in "man" running into each other.

The researchers say the Australian analysis may not have picked up the fact that Armstrong drawled the word "for" so that it sounded like "ferr" and mistook the softly spoken "r's" for a gap.

"It's perfectly clear that there was absolutely no room for the word 'a'," Mr Olsson explained.

Riley and Olsson also concluded that Commander Armstrong and his family members do pronounce the word "a" in a discernible way.

And based on broadcasts from Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin from the surface of the Moon, it is clear that the word "a" was easily transmitted to Earth without being obliterated.

But their analysis of the intonation of the phrase strongly suggests Commander Armstrong had intended to say "a man". There is a rising pitch in the word "man" and a falling pitch when he says "mankind".

According to Mr Olsson: "This indicates that he’s doing what we all do in our speech, he was contrasting using speech - indicating that he knows the difference between man and mankind and that he meant man as in 'a man' not 'humanity'."

There has also been speculation that Neil Armstrong was reading from a pre-prepared script penned for him by another party. According to Mr Olsson, that is not borne out by Armstrong's body language and speech patterns.

"When you look at the pictures, you see that he's moving as he is speaking. He says his first word 'that's' at the moment he puts his foot on the ground. When he says 'one giant leap for mankind', he moves his body," he said.

"As well as this, there is no linking conjunction such as 'and' or 'but' between the two parts of the sentence. So it's for all those reasons that we think this is a completely spontaneous speech."


It may well have been that spontaneity that led to Armstrong's slight mistake. But according to Mr Olsson - Armstrong may have subconsciously drawn from his poetic instincts to utter a phrase that, far from being incorrect - was perfect for the moment.

"When you look at the whole expression there's a symmetry about this. If you put the word 'a' in, it would totally alter the poetic balance of the expression," he explained.

This makes Dr Riley feel that the research has made a positive contribution to the story of the Apollo mission.

"I’m pleased we've been able to contribute in this way and have hopefully drawn a line under the whole thing as a celebration of Neil and everyone involved with Apollo, rather than this constant little niggling criticism," he said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8081817.stm

:D
 

rynner2

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Apollo ... the dream that fell to Earth
It is 40 years since the words, 'The Eagle has landed,' sent a thrill around the world. The Apollo moon missions were to herald a new dawn of space exploration, of lunar bases, manned missions to Mars, and more. But in the decades since - and after the Shuttle disasters - America's appetite for interplanetary flight dwindled. The moon landings marked not the beginning, but the end, of our space dreams
Robin McKie The Observer, Sunday 21 June 2009

It was the most audacious act of exploration ever carried out by a human being. On 21 July, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface to become the first person in history to set foot on another world. A quarter of a million miles away, in downtown bars, in neighbours' homes, in village halls and in gathering places across the planet, men, women and children watched the world's greatest TV spectacle unfold. Grainy, black-and-white images showed the astronaut clamber outside the Eagle, Apollo 11's lunar lander; drop on to the soil of the Sea of Tranquillity; and tell Earth that he had just taken "one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

Those words have become the most widely known botched phrase in modern times. Armstrong - in missing out the indefinite article before "man" - made a tautological mess of his historic pronouncement, an understandable error given what must have been on his mind. Over the following few hours, the astronauts would have to survive on a dead, airless world, collect soil samples, set up suites of instruments, switch them on, then blast off into space with fellow moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, on their spindly lunar module. If its engine failed to burn for a minimum of seven minutes and 10 seconds, the pair would be marooned in space. Faced with these prospects, who would care about the odd pronoun?

In any case, Armstrong's words still resonate - for they so neatly sum up the hopes of those heady days. After all, in only eight years - the first manned space flight was in 1961 - humans had developed the means to journey from one world to another. We had left our cradle and the universe awaited.

And that is the problem. The universe is still waiting. There has been no great leap. Indeed, the United States, which next month celebrates Apollo 11's 40th anniversary, will soon have no way of putting men and women into space at all. Its replacement for Apollo, the space shuttle, has turned out to be a death-trap that has so far claimed the lives of 14 astronauts, the crews of shuttles Challenger and Columbia, and is to be retired next year. It is unclear whether President Barack Obama, who has shown little enthusiasm for manned space projects so far, will back Nasa's plans for replacement spacecraft.

That is the real significance of next month's moon landing anniversary. The landing marked the end, not the beginning, of our dreams of space exploration. The prospects of creating permanent lunar bases, sending manned missions to Mars and blasting astronauts round the solar system died the moment Armstrong set foot on the moon. America had got there before the Russians and the nation could now forget the place.

"The great tragedy of the effort was that the best of American technology and billions of American dollars were devoted to a project of minuscule benefit to anyone," says historian Gerard DeGroot, of St Andrew's University. "Armstrong's small step did nothing for mankind." Indeed, the quest now "seems as strange as stuffing fraternity brothers into phone booths, swallowing goldfish or listening to the 1910 Fruitgum Company," he states. These are harsh words, but you can see DeGroot's point.

etc...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/ ... llen-dream

A rather negative piece, this. The Apollo program was just part of the leap into space, and there's barely an aspect of modern life now untouched by satellite technology, from the sublime (deep space research, earth sciences, tracking animal migrations...) to the ridiculous (boy racers on their mobile phones in sat-nav equipped cars, Twitter and other internet chat...).
 

WhistlingJack

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I think the article is realistic rather than negative. The Americans didn't really achieve anything important by landing people on the moon (when the Soviets wanted lunar samples they sent remote probes) and the real reason for Apollo 11 was to attempt to save face after being soundly beaten by the Soviet Union in every other aspect of the 'space race' (first satellite, man in space, spacewalk, etc..).

The tragedy of all this is that not only have the missions worthy of celebration been swamped by this tide of American cultural imperialism (I don't remember any great commemorations for the 40th anniversary of Gagarin's flight), but the one important Apollo mission, 8, which took humans beyond Earth orbit for the first time, has consistently been overlooked in favour of those who subsequently stood on that crew's shoulders to get to the Moon.
 

rynner2

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WhistlingJack said:
..but the one important Apollo mission, 8, which took humans beyond Earth orbit for the first time, has consistently been overlooked in favour of those who subsequently stood on that crew's shoulders to get to the Moon.
Ahem! Not overlooked by me, anyway.. ;)

Happy Birthday Earthrise

Forty years ago, the biggest TV audience in history tuned in to watch humankind's first close encounter with another world, as the crew of Apollo 8 reached lunar orbit.
....
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewt ... 907#841907
( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7797439.stm )

Also this: http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewt ... 8583#58583
(I did post the photos here referred to, on this MB at one time, but they seem to have vanished in the various shake-ups...

(Photobucket is playing hard to get at the moment - I'll try to repost the pics later.)

However, that was last year's anniversary - this year it's the turn of the Moon Landings!)
 

rynner2

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Here are my Apollo 8 pics of live TV coverage, Xmas 1968:







And now, back to the actual landings - the 40th anniversary of the first one will be next month.
 

EnolaGaia

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WhistlingJack said:
... The tragedy of all this is that not only have the missions worthy of celebration been swamped by this tide of American cultural imperialism (I don't remember any great commemorations for the 40th anniversary of Gagarin's flight), but the one important Apollo mission, 8, which took humans beyond Earth orbit for the first time, has consistently been overlooked in favour of those who subsequently stood on that crew's shoulders to get to the Moon.
I agree ... As a teenage 'space freak' I followed all the missions conducted by both the Soviets and the Americans. Insofar as Apollo 11 was the culmination of a series of missions (including the one prior to 11, which did everything but actually land ...) there was a certain anticlimactic character to it.

The mission that stood out for me - both then and still to this day - was Apollo 8. This was the first mission in which humans left the 'earthly precincts' and headed out into deeper space.
 

rynner2

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Buzz Aldrin and Snoop Dogg reach for the stars with Rocket Experience
Snoop Dogg describes Buzz Aldrin's rapping skills as 'hot'
Jacqui Goddard in Miami

It was probably one small step for Snoop Dogg but it was one giant leap for Buzz Aldrin when he teamed up with the hip-hop artist to record a rap single.

The white-haired astronaut, 79, has accomplished what he claims is his second great mission — becoming a rap star — with a track commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing next month.

The single, Rocket Experience, and accompanying video feature the second man on the Moon nodding his head and gyrating in time to the beat as he leans into a microphone to deliver lines such as: “I’m the spaceman, I’m the rocket man, it’s time to venture far, let’s take a trip to Mars, our destiny is to the stars.”

Snoop Dogg, who helped to make the track with the producer Quincy Jones and fellow rap stars Talib Kweli and Soulja Boy, is shown in the video commending Aldrin — who adopted the rap pseudonym Doc Rendezvous — on his vocal skills. “That’s hot right there, man. That’s gangsta,” he says. :roll:

The video switches between shots of Aldrin rapping — wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Buzz Aldrin, Rocket Hero” — and archive film of the Apollo 11 launch, his and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon and recordings of crackly radio exchanges between the astronauts and mission control.

Rocket Experience was instigated by Aldrin as part of his mission to reignite public interest in the US space programme and teach younger generations about space exploration.

“Young people have lost any interest in space that isn’t in a video game or a movie house. Many don’t really know that Man has stood on the Moon,” he said. “But these incredible rappers speak to the new generations and know how to reach them. The Americans who will take Man to Mars are already born and they don’t even know that space is Man’s fate.”


Proceeds from the song and video sales will go to Aldrin’s non-profit foundation, ShareSpace , which supports space education and advocacy programmes carried out by the National Space Society, the Planetary Society and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

It was released on the internet comedy website Funny or Die and is accompanied by a second behind-the-scenes video, which features Aldrin and the rappers giving tongue-in-cheek interviews about the venture.

“I have only two passions: space exploration and hip-hop,” Aldrin jests, after Jones, who won a Grammy Award, tells the camera: “My man Buzz, my brother, he had a great groove going on.”

While Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, has maintained a low public profile, Aldrin has continued to dream up new ways of promoting space exploration.

He maintains a website and has joined Twitter under the name therealBuzz, which he has used to post promotional messages about his rap track and biography.

In Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon he recounts how after being elevated to the status of global hero in 1969 he struggled with depression and alcoholism for years.

In 2002 he became a folk hero when he punched a heckler in the jaw in California for accusing him of faking the Moon landing. :D

In his new video he is shown offering Snoop Dogg some tips on his pugilistic skills: “Say you know Snoop, you’ve gotta do a little more work on your left jab there, dude,” he advises.

etc..

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 571987.ece

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/0be5c6 ... experience
 

rynner2

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The first man on the moon
The landing was a moment of intense human drama, played out with fragile, gleaming technology against a backcloth of infinity
Tim Radford The Guardian, Thursday 2 July 2009

Even at the time, we understood that our world had changed and that we could pinpoint this change to almost the second. We didn't have to wait for Neil Armstrong to get out of the lunar module and fumble a portentous remark about a small step for a man. When we heard the words "Houston, Tranquillity Base here, the Eagle has landed," it didn't quite sink in, but then after a short, eerie pause the man at Houston, known only as Capcom, choked a bit and stumbled and then said: "We copy you on the ground. You've got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again." That was the moment a hundred million people around the world also started breathing again.

The final minutes of the Apollo 11 lunar module's descent to the surface of the moon Link to this audio Apollo was momentous in a way that Yuri Gagarin's first, heroic orbit could never have been. Gagarin had circled the Earth in 92 minutes in 1961. He had travelled 24,000 miles in an hour and a half; he had made history; he had confirmed Soviet space supremacy; he had done a thing that many thought could never be done. But two things separated him from the Apollo team eight years later.

One was that Gagarin had done all these things before anyone in the world knew about them, or could have known about them. We cheered his triumph, but missed the drama. The other was that he never really left the Earth; he flew higher than anybody had ever done, but he was still a prisoner of the planet's tug. He was never much further from Earth than Manchester is from London.

Everything about the Apollo landing, though, was high adventure. It was the climax of a space race that had been so tightly contested that, right up to that moment on the Sea of Tranquillity, it had seemed possible that the Russians might get there first. This race had developed, although we could not know the details at the time, from a duel of wits between two men.

One was Wernher von Braun, the former Waffen-SS officer who had devised, built, tested and deployed what, in 1944, had been the ultimate weapon: the Vergeltungswaffe-2, the vengeance weapon, the V2 . He pioneered the American technocracy. His Soviet opponent was a figure so shadowy that even in the USSR he was known only as "the Chief Designer". In fact, Sergei Kolorev was an even more remarkable man who had lost his teeth, his health and very nearly his life in Stalin's prison camps, but most of us knew nothing about him, not even his name, until 1990.

The decision to finance a moon race was a dramatic manoeuvre in cold war politics, the ultimate in one-upmanship, a seizure of the commanding heights of space, begun by President Kennedy as a riposte to the Soviet Union's boastful Nikita Khrushchev.

But the sprint for the moon also united an implacably divided world. It gave us our first sense of the loneliness and the beauty of our planet, seen from a distance of a quarter of a million miles. And it was the first direct step in the search for extraterrestrial life. We forget this now, but in 1969, the fear of global infection by alien lunar organisms seemed real enough to ensure that the three astronauts went straight into biological isolation when they came home.

Above all, it was a moment of human drama, played out with fragile, gleaming technology against a backcloth of infinity. Like a billion other people, I listened, on an old junkshop radio with an improvised antenna, in the small parlour of a two-up, two-down railwayman's cottage in Kent, while my wife, son and daughter slept overhead. I wasn't, at the time, a science reporter, but I had joined a newspaper at 16 in 1957, just in time for Sputnik 1 and, like millions of others, I had followed every step of the drama that, on the night of 20 July 1969, reached its highest point.

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins had left the Earth altogether. They had travelled a quarter of a million miles, and then two of them had climbed into a little module that looked then, and still looks now, implausible, and descended to leave their footprints in the dust of an alien world, and they did these things while almost the whole of the human race watched and listened and, yes, held its breath. Eagle's touchdown on the moon was the unforgettable moment: one in which we might eavesdrop on triumph or tragedy. We knew that astronauts could get out of a spacecraft and walk in space; it would be no problem to get out and walk on the moon. That much was a formality, a performance for the cameras they carried with them. What was not certain was that the Eagle could land at all.

Consider the problem: Eagle had to detach itself from the mothership Apollo at the right moment, and begin a precise descent that had to be completed while still on the side of the moon always facing Earth: radio transmission was impossible from the far side. Although Aldrin and Armstrong were astronauts, test pilots and history-makers, they were also the agents of the most ambitious peacetime co-operative enterprise ever: they were emissaries from Earth, touching down on another world. They were part of a corporate journey into the unknown that could go terribly wrong at any point, and they had to do it while mission control at Houston could monitor the technology, and while the world watched.

"Apollo 11 was a half-a-million-mile daisy chain draped around the moon, a chain that was as fragile as it was long," Collins wrote afterwards. "I figured our chances for a successful landing and return were not much better than 50-50." Nasa's safety chief during the Apollo 8 mission, the one that flew round the moon in 1968, had calculated that the spaceship had 5,600,000 moving parts and "even if all functioned with 99.9% reliability, we could expect 5,600 defects". :shock:

But how much more potentially calamitous was the flight of the Eagle, the module that landed on the moon...


etc...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/ ... an-on-moon

Excellent article! (Mind you, he's had 40 years to work on it! ;) )
 

rynner2

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Long article here on Neil Armstrong, the publicity-shy first moonwalker:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/scien ... 27870.html

just one snippet:


...the Armstrong style can be disconcerting. "The first occasions I spoke to him, he would take his time before responding," says Rebecca Macwhinney, manager of Wapakoneta's Armstrong Air and Space Museum. "But when he answered it was in a very articulate fashion, with perfectly formed sentences. What comes across is that he's a very intelligent man."

She was not the first to have that experience. In The Right Stuff, Wolfe writes of Armstrong that "you'd ask him a question, and he'd just stare at you with those pale blue eyes of his, and you'd ask the question again, figuring he'd not understood and – click – out of his mouth would come forth a sequence of long, quiet precisely thought-out sentences.... It was as if his hesitations were just data punch intervals for his computer."

8)
 

rynner2

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And a TV tribute to Armstrong here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... Armstrong/

It includes footage of this incident:
In 1968, Armstrong was practising for the Moon trip on the LLTV, the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle better known as the "Flying Bedstead", when the craft began to fly out of control at an altitude of just 100ft. In the nick of time he ejected, a second or so before the LLTV smashed into the ground in flames. In typical unflappable fashion, he brushed himself down and went back to his office to do some paperwork.
(About 29 minutes into the video. Wow!)
 

rynner2

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Who is Neil Armstrong?

A hero to millions, Neil Armstrong has consistently shunned the limelight. To mark the 40th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing, author Andrew Smith travelled across America to discover why the man who first set foot upon the Moon remains such an enigma.

His words on being the first person ever to set foot on the Moon have been written into soundbite history - but in the four decades since Neil Armstrong became a household name, he has also increasingly become an enigma.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Armstrong has refused to cash in on his fame and seemingly done everything in his power to diminish it.

So what has made Neil Armstrong such a reluctant hero, unsusceptible to the normal trappings of celebrity? And why won't he speak about his historic journey?

In his quest to uncover the man behind the spacesuit, Andrew Smith, author of Moondust: In Search of the Man Who Fell to Earth, decided to travel across America to meet people who have had an impact on Armstrong's life.

His conclusion is that Armstrong, now 78, believes simply that he did not deserve the attention.

"There were 400,000 people that worked on that [Moon landing] programme in various different ways and he thinks he didn't deserve all the credit just because he did the flying part," says Smith.


But Armstrong became a celebrity overnight. The Apollo 11 Moon landing marked a seismic shift in space exploration during a time when the world was captivated by space. It was watched by the largest television audience of its time, and President Nixon put in a congratulatory phone call just after the US flag was planted.

On the astronauts' return, Nasa sent them on a world tour.

Although Neil Armstrong initially went along with the celebrations, he always remained aloof; an elusive presence who preferred to talk about facts rather than feelings.

He started to decline speeches and interviews, eventually refusing to sign autographs and shying away from being photographed in public.

"To my knowledge he has done two television interviews in the last 40 years - and he says nothing about what he felt about anything. He will talk about matters of fact and that's it," says Smith. The author has been repeatedly refused an interview with Armstrong despite many requests, although the pair have had e-mail correspondence.

"And he didn't want to profit from it financially - even though a lot of the other Moon walkers have done - and amazingly he's stood by that. An auction house told me that if Armstrong spent just one afternoon signing autographs he could make a million dollars, but he's always refused." 8)

etc...

And what about the poetic prose "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" that slips off most people's tongues almost as easily as Shakespeare's famous lines "to be or not to be"?

Whether Armstrong was fed the line by a press officer or it was his own musing is the subject of much speculation, but one of his oldest friends has his own theory about its origin.

"'Kotcho' Solacoff says they used to play the game Mother May I? (also commonly known as Grandmother's Footsteps) - where you take small steps or giant steps - in the playground. He thinks it came from that. It struck me as really weird," says Smith.
...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8133835.stm
 

rynner2

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#16
Long article here
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandte ... n-too.html
about British engineers who worked on the Moon Landing project.

One of them took over the LLTV project after Armstrong's dice with death (see my earlier posts).
When the Canadian arm of AVRO, the British aircraft company, cancelled its CF-105 Arrow interceptor in 1959, more than 14,000 employees were made redundant. Many had only recently come over from Britain, and a significant proportion were able to land new jobs almost immediately.

Peter Armitage, for example, was able to turn his knowledge of aircraft flight testing to the recovery systems for the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft. In 1969, he was asked to take over management of the Lunar Landing Test Vehicle programme. The LLTV was the Heath Robinson-looking, vertical-take-off-and-landing device that Neil Armstrong had been using to learn how to land on the Moon. In May of 1968, his LLTV had pitched over; Armstrong cheated death by only a fraction of a second, when he ejected while almost horizontal. Armitage's team stepped in and developed a rigorous new programme, so that Armstrong was able to resume his test flights. After a sojourn at Stanford University, Armitage would return to Nasa to manage the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, which took control of the Moon rocks brought back by the astronauts.
And Francis Thomas Bacon deserves a special mention, as he invented and developed the vital fuel cells that provided not only power but clean water for the astronauts.
 

McAvennie

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#17
Some really interesting stuff on BBC4 last night.

Bit that amused me, although I could not work out who it was who said it as I wasn't fully paying attention, was one of the other Moon landers who stepped down with something along the lines of "That may be a small step for Neil but it's a giant leap for an old fella like me".
 

Dr_Baltar

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#18
McAvennie_ said:
Some really interesting stuff on BBC4 last night.

Bit that amused me, although I could not work out who it was who said it as I wasn't fully paying attention, was one of the other Moon landers who stepped down with something along the lines of "That may be a small step for Neil but it's a giant leap for an old fella like me".
It was Pete Conrad, Commander of Apollo 12.

"Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me."
 

rynner2

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#19
Apollo 11: Why the moon still matters

APOLLO 11: FORTY YEARS ON


On 20 July 1969, the Apollo 11 mission landed two men on the moon.

Just three years and five more crewed missions later, our visits came to an end. Yet the scientific legacy of the Apollo programme has been profound.

Here we report on how it gave us a new understanding of the universe and how Neil Armstrong's "small step" opened a new chapter in history that continues to unfold today.

Several articles follow....

http://www.newscientist.com/special/apo ... f=apollo11
 

rynner2

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Apollo 11 moon landing memorabilia to be sold at auction
The crew of Apollo 11, the first men to walk on the Moon, helped their families plan for their deaths before they launched, memorabilia to be sold at auction has revealed.
By Jacqui Goddard in Miami
Published: 9:00PM BST 11 Jul 2009

When the crew of Apollo 11 set off for the moon in 1969, they were feted as heroes and praised as pioneers.

But mementoes to be sold at an auction commemorating the mission's 40th anniversary shows how the three astronauts secretly feared they may be on a one-way ticket – and how they helped their families to plan for their deaths.

With insurance companies unwilling to cover them for such a treacherous venture, and aware that government compensation in the event of their demise could be modest, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins dreamed up an idea for securing their loved ones' futures: autographed first-day covers.

One of the signed envelopes – bearing the Apollo 11 mission emblem and postmarked at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, on July 16, 1969, the day of the launch – is among 400 lots going under the hammer in a sale of rare space memorabilia at Bonhams auction house in New York.

"Since we were unable to obtain adequate life insurance due to the high risk nature of being an astronaut, we signed this group of covers and evenly distributed them to our families for safe keeping while we performed our mission," explained Buzz Aldrin, 79, in an accompanying letter certifying authenticity.

"If an unfortunate event prevented our safe return, the covers would have provided a limited financial means of support to our families."

The auction, one of many events marking the anniversary later this month, is expected to draw bidding from space enthusiasts and collectors around the world, and raise at least $1.5 million.

"We have already had a lot of interest from people, both stateside and internationally," said Bonhams specialist Christina Geiger.

"Much of the material comes directly from the collections of various astronauts and there's certainly the feeling that they were holding back on some of their better material for the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing."

Among the items expected to attract the most interest is a selection of pages taken from the mission manual that was transported with Armstrong and Aldrin aboard the lunar landing module Eagle, setting out the computer procedures they needed to follow to set the spacecraft down safely.

Considered Apollo 11's most historically significant documents, they were critical in guiding Armstrong through the final nail-biting minutes of the descent as he desperately tried to steer clear of craters and boulders, ultimately bringing the module to a halt with just 20 seconds' worth of fuel to spare before the world heard his announcement: "The Eagle has landed."

Another star lot lined up for auction is a page from Nasa's Apollo 11 flight plan, which the astronauts took to the moon and plotted their schedule, hour by hour.

Aldrin has jotted on it the precise moments at which he and Armstrong set their footprints in the lunar soil, with the notes: "Neil's first step," and "My first step."

According to the timeline the astronauts were supposed to take a three-hour rest after landing, before they ventured outside.

"Needless to say, Neil and I had an abundance of energy and adrenaline surging through our bodies after this historic event and starting a rest period was the last thing on our minds," Aldrin noted, recalling how Armstrong won permission from mission control to bring the moonwalk forward.

"The lunar surface was indeed desolate, but had a striking beauty all its own," Aldrin reminisced in his subsequent written account, which forms part of the auction lot.

Other souvenirs include a section of Armstrong's training spacesuit, a scale model of the Saturn V rocket that launched the lunar explorers into space – formerly owned by the late Dr Maxime Faget, one of the rocket's lead designers – and a brush used on the Apollo 14 mission in 1971 to clean the astronauts' camera lenses. Moon dust is still embedded in its bristles.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandte ... ction.html
 

rynner2

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#22
NASA release unseen moon landing footage
Neil Armstrong's historic moon landing will be shown in new light on Thursday when Nasa releases a previously unseen film of the first manned lunar excursion.
By Heidi Blake
Published: 11:10AM BST 15 Jul 2009

The recently discovered footage shows US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to land on the moon on board the Apollo 11 space shuttle.

The new film has been restored and digitally enhanced using state-of-the-art technology and will be much clearer and less grainy than previously released footage of the 1969 landing.

It features 15 key moments from the historic lunar walk, and is part of Nasa's comprehensive Apollo 11 restoration project which is expected to be completed by Autumn.

The US space agency said it had used "the best available broadcast-format copies of the lunar excursion, some of which had been locked away for nearly 40 years."

The initial video released on Thursday is part of a comprehensive Apollo 11 moonwalk restoration project expected to be completed by Autumn.

The film release comes ahead of the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing on July 20. As part of the celebrations, Nasa is collecting footage, images and other Apollo 11 memorabilia from space enthusiasts around the world.

Neil Armstrong, now 78, has kept a low profile since leaving Nasa in 1971 and has reportedly declined to attend a press conference with other astronauts to mark the anniversary on July 20.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandte ... otage.html
 
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#23
I think this fits in here.

Orphans of Apollo Now Available On DVD
by Staff Writers

Los Angeles, CA (SPX) 13, 2009
Free Radical Productions has now made the documentary film, "Orphans of Apollo," available on DVD @ www.OrphansofApollo.com. "Orphans of Apollo" is the award winning documentary that has been called the "greatest space story never told."

The film "Orphans of Apollo," tells the extraordinary true story of a small group of entrepreneurs who felt 'orphaned' by President Nixon's decision to end the NASA Apollo Moon program and the subsequent years of nominal space activity. This band of brothers took matters into their own hands, and commandeered the Russian Mir Space Station, behind the backs of NASA and the US government.

The rebellious, yet pioneering efforts has been credited with launching the new commercial Space Revolution. This is the remarkable untold story of the greatest secret in the new space race.

This dramatic tale chronicles the adventure of the boldest business plan the Earth has ever seen. 'MirCorp', the entrepreneurial company 's vision to transform the Russian space station into an outpost for what was intended to be the first phase of a trillion dollar business.

The project was to include mining of asteroids, gravity free laboratories, a space 'hotel', and a research facility. MirCorp was the ultimate start-up company, and unlike anything the universe had ever seen.

Join this band of rebels out to change the course of history in space, as they board a private jet, fly to Russia, negotiate one of the most remarkable business deals of the final frontier.

Follow this diverse group as they pioneer their way through this new business of space. Listen to the management team as they struggle with issues of branding, finance, technology, and engage in the ultimate slugfest with the most powerful governments and bureaucrats.

"Orphans of Apollo" is an intimate and compelling epic which eloquently communicates the real origins of the private commercial new space revolution.

Now for the first, and possibly the last, time, "Orphans of Apollo" combines archival material from original NASA film footage, Russian archival footage, personal footage, IMAX footage, with interviews and or footage with key players including Tom Clancy, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Rick Tumlinson, Walt Anderson, Gus Gardellini, Jeff Manber, and others.

Upcoming public screenings


July 15-16 - World Technology Awards NY
July 17 - NASA Ames SFF
July 18 - Cabot Science Museum Oakland, CA
Aug 24-Sept 1 - International Film Festival in Seoul
August 28 - Los Angles, Sony Theater
Share This Article With Planet Earth

www.space-travel.com/reports/Orphans_of ... D_999.html
 

rynner2

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#24
First view of the restoration of the TV footage:

Enhanced Moon footage revealed

Nasa has released clips of digitally enhanced footage of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, to coincide with the event's 40th anniversary.

Dick Nafzger, who was a 28-year-old engineer at Nasa when Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon, said the results so far were "very exciting".

It is hoped the restoration and enhancement work will be completed by September.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8154686.stm
 

rynner2

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#25
This anniversary is bringing out many interesting little stories that, back then, were swamped by the glare of the big event, or whose significance was not realised at the time, like this one (it's too long to paste in full):

Weaving the way to the Moon

by Jonathan Fildes
Science and technology reporter, BBC News

Don Eyles says getting a job on the Apollo mission was probably the greatest stroke of luck in his life (Archive footage: MIT and Nasa)

As Apollo 11 sped silently on its way to landing the first men on the Moon, its safe arrival depended on the work of a long-haired maths student fresh out of college and a computer knitted together by a team of "little old ladies".

Now, 40 years after Apollo 11 landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, the work of these unsung heroes who designed and built the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) is back in the spotlight.

"I wasn't so aware of the responsibility at the time - it sort of sunk in later," said Don Eyles, a 23-year-old self-described "beatnik" who had just graduated from Boston University and was set the task of programming the software for the Moon landing.

"I don't recall the risk and the responsibility and the fact that other people's lives were to some extent in our hands."

But if Mr Eyles embodied the young, can-do attitude of many of the 400,000 people who are estimated to have worked on the Apollo programme, the "little old ladies" epitomised a more cautious approach.

The team of ex-textile workers and watch-makers were employed by defence firm Raytheon to "weave" the software into the memory of the computer.

etc...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8148730.stm
 

rynner2

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#26
How Michael Collins became the forgotten astronaut of Apollo 11
As Armstrong and Aldrin took their famous walk on the moon, a third member of the team sat alone in the mothership plagued by terrors of returning to Earth alone.
Robin McKie The Observer, Sunday 19 July 2009

It was the secret terror that gripped astronaut Michael Collins throughout the Apollo 11 project 40 years ago. As his spacecraft, Columbia, swept over the lunar surface, Collins - the mission's third and largely forgotten crewman - waited for a call from fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to say their lander craft had successfully blasted off from the Moon.

The message would banish Collins's deepest fear: that he would be the only survivor of an Apollo 11 disaster and that he was destined to return on his own to the United States as "a marked man".

The realisation that the normally icy-cool astronaut was so obsessed by such an outcome puts a fresh perspective on the celebrations that will, this weekend, absorb the United States as it commemorates the moment, on 21 July 1969, that an American first walked on another world. Apollo 11 will be presented as a flawless technological triumph at jamborees across the nation, including a special reception at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, which all three Apollo 11 astronauts are scheduled to attend.

Yet at the time, worries that the mission would end in disaster consumed nearly all of those involved in the programme - despite their apparent calm. And no one was more stressed than Collins, it appears.

In his case, the astronaut was obsessed with the reliability of the ascent engine of Armstrong and Aldrin's lander, Eagle. It had never been fired on the Moon's surface before and many astronauts had serious doubts about its reliability. Should the engine fail to ignite, Armstrong and Aldrin would be stranded on the Moon - where they would die when their oxygen ran out. Or if it failed to burn for at least seven minutes, then the two astronauts would either crash back on to the Moon or be stranded in low orbit around it, beyond the reach of Collins in his mothership, Columbia.

All three astronauts believed there was a real chance such a disaster would occur. Armstrong thought his prospects were only 50-50 of making it back to Earth. And so did Collins, the pilot of Columbia and one of the world's most experienced aviators.

Nor were the astronauts alone. Richard Nixon, then US president, had even prepared a speech that he would deliver in the event of the Eagle's engine failing. "Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the Moon to rest in peace," it ran. "These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice."

Thus Collins - alone in Columbia as the world focused on Armstrong and Aldrin walking on the lunar surface - fretted about his two companions below him on the Moon and revealed, in a note written at the time, that he was now "sweating like a nervous bride" as he waited to hear from the Eagle.

"My secret terror for the last six months has been leaving them on the Moon and returning to Earth alone; now I am within minutes of finding out the truth of the matter," he wrote. "If they fail to rise from the surface, or crash back into it, I am not going to commit suicide; I am coming home, forthwith, but I will be a marked man for life and I know it."

etc...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/ ... t-apollo11
 
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#27
I watched a TV docudrama about the Apollo 11 expedition, on Belgian TV, last night, with Egg, from 'This Life', playing Collins and Spike from 'Buffy tVS', playing Buzz Aldrin. I quite enjoyed it.

I still remember sitting up, until just before Armstrong left the lander, then falling asleep in front of the TV and waking up as they were running a repeat showing of the event, early that same morning. I was only nine.

40 bloody years! Gone so quick and seem so far away! :shock:
 

EnolaGaia

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#28
rynner2 said:
... As Armstrong and Aldrin took their famous walk on the moon, a third member of the team sat alone in the mothership plagued by terrors of returning to Earth alone. ...
Here's an odd but related factoid I remember being cited during the Apollo 11 mission ...

Once Armstrong and Aldrin touched down on the lunar surface, Michael Collins became the 'loneliest man in history', in terms of being farther distant from any other human than anyone had ever been.

I also recall reading somewhere that special attention had been given to psychological screening for the command module pilot (Collins on Apollo 11) owing to concerns about the pressure of being in that position.
 

rynner2

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#29
Never-before-seen photo shows Neil Armstrong's face as he first walks across the moon
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:24 AM on 20th July 2009

An amazing new photograph showing Neil Armstrong's face through his space suit visor has come to light on the 40th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing.

The image was shot by the movie camera mounted on the lunar lander famously called 'Eagle', but the frame lasts for only a fleeting moment.
It shows Armstrong's face in clear view as he walks across the lunar surface.

He was the first man to walk on the moon, taking that one giant leap for mankind - yet most of the famous shots are of his fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, as it was Armstrong who manned the stills camera.

Spacecraft Films, an Ohio-based specialist in historical space footage, has transferred the footage into high definition format and captured the split-second scene as a still image, now released for the first time in a new book, Voices from the Moon, by author Andrew Chaikin.
'This is the first time that the public are seeing it,' said Chaikin, revealing that even Armstrong - despite his modest ways - was quietly impressed to receive one of the new prints of himself as a souvenir.
'All the iconic pictures from the moon are of Buzz...there really hasn't been one of Neil. I gave him a copy and he seemed pleased to have it.'

The moment was captured as Armstrong gathered samples of moon rocks during his 21-hour visit to the lunar surface exactly 40 years ago, on July 20, 1969. They spacemen only spent two and a half hours outside their spacecraft.

'Armstrong raised his outer visor, the gold reflective visor that normally obscures an astronaut's face,' explained Mr Chaikin.
'Right after he collects the sample, he turns towards the lunar module and it's at that time that time, as he's standing there, that we can see his face inside the helmet.'

Chaikin first spotted the momentary image while browsing film footage at Nasa's Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, in 1986, during research for his first book, A Man on the Moon.
'I made a mental note of it as being something extremely cool, a really rare glimpse,' he said.

'Now all these years later, for the first time, we have a high definition version as a still image and the world can see the face of the first man walking on the moon.'

As America marks the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing today, Armstrong, Aldrin and third Apollo 11 crewmate Michael Collins will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House to be honoured for their pioneering mission.
It is likely that it could be the last ever reunion of the ageing space heroes, who were all born in 1930 and last met up in 2004 for the 35th anniversary.

Anniversary festivities and ceremonies will be held at Nasa centres and other venues throughout this week, with Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins also due to deliver a joint address on human spaceflight at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington tonight.
While Aldrin and Collins are expected to advocate sending astronauts on a two-year, 500,000-mile round-trip to Mars, Armstrong, 79, is known to favour the idea of establishing a lunar base first.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... -moon.html
 
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