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Thread: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

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    Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    I was born in 1955, which means I've been alive for every space launch and failure since Sputnik first went beep beep.

    At 9:32AM ET, 50 years ago today, the Apollo 11 mission began. If you can take a moment at that time to reflect on the scientific and engineering madterpiece that was the Saturn V and LM (thanks Kep's Dad!), please do.

    And - as it happened in real time, go here;
    https://apolloinrealtime.org

    I still have the slides I took of the TV screen of the 1st moon walk and a few of Apollo 12 until Al Bean pointed the camera at the sun and fried it. After 13, the news media treated the moon walks as just another event.

    Think I should break them out for the kids and grandkids this weekend?? I wonder if I asked my 11 year old grandson would he know the names of the Apollo 11 crew?

    For you born after 1972 - how much do the moon landings mean to you?
    Last edited by joecct; 07-16-2019 at 04:38 AM.

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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    I was just barely 2 when Armstrong stepped onto the moon. And I recall watching on of the last landings, as I recall being bored looking at the triangle window and seeing gray go by.

    But it was still a massive impact to me.

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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    I was born between STS-4 and STS-5, so I missed all of NASA in their heyday, but I grew up wanting to learn so much of Mercury/Gemini/Apollo. I was such a space geek (and still am) that seeing the footage of the moon landings are pretty meaningful. And learning of all the work that went into the program, all the advances that came from it. It's amazing.

    I even used my allowance savings one summer to buy a large framed Earthrise print to hang in my bedroom growing up.

    I also have a signed copy of Moon Shot before Alan Shepherd passed away.

    Last edited by aparch; 07-16-2019 at 08:16 AM.

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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    It's probably the first big community event I recall. I was in grade school at the time and I remember watching it with my family and some of their friends who had been invited over.

    But for a young kid, there were a couple of memories that stand out. First, I remember thinking "why are they waiting so long to get out" after they landed on the moon? Isn't it like a car, where you open the door and get out?

    Second, there was a sort of disconnect when adults would point up to the moon and you would think about a man standing on it, literally at that instant. It was certainly the most surreal event to that point in my life.
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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    I was born in 1963. My recollection is watching on our little b&w TV with my Mom and Dad and my Dad eventually saying "will you please shut up!" because I was talking all through the landing.

    I don't remember watching the launch.

    I absolutely recall looking up at the moon and thinking whatever the 6-year old equivalent was of "holy f-ck!" I had an idea of the distance because my dad laid out stones on Fire Island that summer and explained that if this pebble was our house and this pebble was my school and this pebble was my Uncle Jack in DC then... (and then he pointed the the horizon) that lighthouse way out there is the moon. It blew my mind.
    Last edited by Kepler; 07-16-2019 at 08:41 AM.
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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    I was born in 1973. The first knowledge I had of the moon landings or space exploration was a project we did in first grade on propulsion. We used balloons, not rocket boosters, for our experiments. The big event for my generation was the Space Shuttle, and of course the Challenger disaster in 1986. The moon landings didn't really mean much to me until I saw Apollo 13 in 1995. Now they serve only as a reminder of how far we've fallen as a people. Yes, we've achieved remarkable feats with communication and travel and other fields, but on the trajectory we were on we should have been to Mars by now. Instead we watch videos of kittens or pregnant giraffes. The video of NASA finding planets that could support human life had a minute fraction of the views of that fracking giraffe. Tragic.

    Still, I just watched the Apollo 11 liftoff and I did feel some tingles. We did achieve that greatness once. Could we do it again?

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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    The moon landing was the crowning achievement of 1960s Hollywood vFX

    Being an 80s kid, Nasa was just kind of there for me. The space shuttle missions were just "regular" science since they happened all the time. It wasn't till adulthood that it really sank in as to what we accomplished.
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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    Do this now: https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/ and click NOW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    Do this now: https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/ and click NOW
    They also have a mobile page, and the "Now" time is based on your local time. So I'm about 25 minutes to launch listening on my phone in CST.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    Do this now: https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/ and click NOW
    Circling back around to this (yes, I've quoted it twice), I'm at +8 from launch listening on my phone and it has just the Capcom feed (you can only pick one feed to listen at a time on the mobile site), and Jesus they make this sound as thrilling as calling and listening to the time, but yet I can't stop listening. I'm enthralled by it.
    Last edited by aparch; 07-16-2019 at 09:44 AM.

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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    I think I was outside playing or at the community pool for TLI (in about an hour). I know I missed it.
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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    Quote Originally Posted by aparch View Post
    Circling back around to this (yes, I've quoted it twice), I'm at +8 from launch listening on my phone and it has just the Capcom feed (you can only pick one feed to listen at a time on the mobile site), and Jesus they make this sound as thrilling as calling and listening to the time, but yet I can't stop listening. I'm enthralled by it.
    It's really wonderful to listen to them in real time. It makes them into real people you feel you are sitting with. Imagine how nerve racking and exciting it was! They were doing something unbelievably complex and brilliant and dangerous and wonderful. And there was no luck -- every second had been planned out; it was all scientific and deliberate. This is mankind at the best we have ever been. Our true shining moment.

    This may have been the only moment in human history in which there was absolutely no bullsh-t.
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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    Oddly enough, I have memories of Apollo 8 and the Christmas Eve trip around the Moon, but I have no memory whatsoever of Apollo 11. My parents assure me I was in the room, but for some reason can't drag it out of my memory banks.

    NASA and the space program inspired me in 10 different directions. I wrote to NASA in the early 70s and when little kids did that, you got all sorts of cool stuff sent back to you. I drew pictures of launches and sent those to NASA, and in return got even more cool stuff back, like glossy photographs of the launches I drew.

    As soon as my mom thought I would not put out my eye, burn the neighbor's house down, or stick mice in as payloads, she let me start building model rockets. 2 of my geek friends and I spent hours and hours building, launching, and losing those things.

    While it would have been more fitting to do today (I couldn't get the time off from work) on Saturday, at precisely the time 50 years ago the Eagle touched down on the surface of the Moon, I am celebrating the anniversary by launching the first model rocket I have built in nearly 40 years, the classic 1/100th scale Estes Saturn V. If all goes well, I won't lose it in a tree or see it otherwise destroyed. You can tell it's been 40 years since my last go-around as a model rocket builder, but once you get 5 or 6 feet away, that sucker looks pretty cool.

    I took part last night at a radio program put on by Cleveland's NPR station of a gathering scientists and others from the NASA Glenn Research Center, and the discussion centered around the role NASA Glenn here in Cleveland (Then known as NASA Lewis) played in the Moon landings, and what they are doing today as we talk about returning to the Moon in a few years. I was struck though by the thought that I have no confidence or belief that this is actually going to happen. NASA and the U.S. government have taken some somewhat concrete steps towards the goal of returning to the Moon, but presidents and others have been saying for decades now we would return, and we haven't seen humans travel further from Earth than I am from South Bend Indiana as I post this. I was saddened somewhat by the notion that these efforts, like others in the past, would eventually evaporate into the wind. There is no longer national consensus about much of anything, and going to the Moon takes just that.

    I hope I'm wrong and I hope I live to see it happen. I bet I'll remember the NEXT time we land on the moon for the rest of my life.

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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    Did you stick mice in as payloads?

    Or are you the only little boy who didn't.

    Asking for a friend.

    I honestly believe we will live to see the first human walk on Mars. Of course, she'll be Chinese.
    Last edited by Kepler; 07-16-2019 at 11:21 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    It's really wonderful to listen to them in real time. It makes them into real people you feel you are sitting with. Imagine how nerve racking and exciting it was! They were doing something unbelievably complex and brilliant and dangerous and wonderful. And there was no luck -- every second had been planned out; it was all scientific and deliberate. This is mankind at the best we have ever been. Our true shining moment.

    This may have been the only moment in human history in which there was absolutely no bullsh-t.
    Indeed! I think that's the draw, it's unintentionally choreographed. Everyone had their role, were focused on their slice to ensure that all the moving pieces meshed together.

    Being ~40 minutes behind when I saw your post and clicked on the mobile version, there was also a wonderful slice of how frantic things were, yet how calm everyone remained. They were trying to get a squawk box hooked up for someone's family. Then they still had communication issues between some of the buildings, and one department couldn't hear KSC, but then they got that fixed. Its mundane but so interesting. Hell, I listed until +40 after launch, when they were already in Earth orbit. Ot was mostly static, but the occasional chatter was fun to hear.


    Then again, I enjoyed watching NASA TV when the shuttles where flying just to hear the same mundane chatter.

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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    Just realized when they docked with the LM, they were inside the orbits of the communication satellites. Right now, 6,600 NM from Earth.

    Wonder in the next voyages, will they use Metric or English measurements?
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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    Quote Originally Posted by aparch View Post
    Circling back around to this (yes, I've quoted it twice), I'm at +8 from launch listening on my phone and it has just the Capcom feed (you can only pick one feed to listen at a time on the mobile site), and Jesus they make this sound as thrilling as calling and listening to the time, but yet I can't stop listening. I'm enthralled by it.
    So how are all of you deciding on who to listen to?? They have everyone recorded, and while it's good to hear the main CAPCON and Crew feed (which are in different ears), it's also interesting to listen to the various conversations that are going on. Makes me wonder how communication control was laid out. Do each have an open mic to a small specific group, and then have to switch to talk to the flight controller?

    I caught one of them when they were making a phone call about 40 min before the TLI burn.

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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    It's really wonderful to listen to them in real time. It makes them into real people you feel you are sitting with. Imagine how nerve racking and exciting it was!
    Apollo 13 is remarkably true to the real history. One of the minor inaccuracies is how much tension there was at NASA and in the command module. If you listen to the audio of mission control everyone is cool as a cucumber throughout. Ron Howard had to create that drama for theatrical purposes. As a member of the press said, "You made going to the Moon about as exciting as taking a trip to Pittsburgh."

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    Quote Originally Posted by alfablue View Post
    ...Do each have an open mic to a small specific group, and then have to switch to talk to the flight controller?
    So far I just listened to CAPCOM. When I loaded their sister site for Apollo 17 last week, I played around with the different channels, but there was just so much audio.

    And yes, from my understanding, that a exactly how it worked. Each controller was it's own "channel," and they could flip over to other channels.

    https://apollo17.org/
    https://apollo13realtime.org/

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    Re: Apollo 11 - 50 years on.

    Watch the opening scenes from E1 of PBS' Chasing the Moon series. Goosebumps.

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