Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia

    Celebrating Apollo Eleven, 20 July 1969

    Later this month, we will celebrate mankind’s first landing on -- and safe return from -- the moon. Apollo Eleven was a momentous, seminal achievement, even more daunting and spectacular given the states-of-the-arts in relevant disciplines (only) forty years ago. Where were you on 20 July 1969, when Neil Armstrong achieved that “giant leap for mankind?” I was standing watch at the Naval Base in Newport, RI.

  2. #2

    Apollo 11

    I stayed home from my summer construction job to watch the launch. I was also in front of my TV for the landing and the first moonwalk. Just working on memory -- wasn't the landing and moonwalk on a Sunday? I don't think I skipped another day of work. And as I remember it, Armstrong's historic moonwalk was several hours after the landing. Is my memory right?

    Just a few thoughts:

    -- Armstrong blew the famous first words: He planned to say "One small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind" ... instead, he left out the article and said, "One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    -- On the other hand, Armstrong saved the landings from disaster. The computer-controlled landing track would have set the lunar landing down on a boulder field (very likely a fatal blunder). He over-rode the command on manual control, extended the landing path and set the module down on a smooth patch of sand. I don't think Armstrong has ever gotten enough credit for this feat. BTW, the final seconds of the 1969 moon landing remarkably mirror the fictional moon landing in Robert Heinlein's 1950 juvenile novel "Rocket Ship Galileo" -- the computer is about to land them on a rocky patch when the young pilot overrides the computer and brings them in to a safe landing. Just another reason why Heinlein is the greatest sci-fi writer ever.

    -- Regarding that state-of-the-art technology that you talk about, I seem to recall reading that a recent Casio wrist watch contained more computing power that the computer the Apollo 11 astronauts had aboard their spacecraft.

    -- I've got to admit that growing up, seeing the space program evolve, that I never thought the moon landing would estentially end it in my lifetime. I thought we'd rapidly follow the first landing with colonies on the moon, regular Earth-to-moon shuttles and exploratory voyages to the nearest planets, especially Mars. I was planning on spending my retirement years on an O'Neill space colony. Hard to believe that 50 years after landing on the moon, we haven't done one damn thing to exploit it.

  3. #3
    You are correct indeed that the moon walk was on a Sunday.

    During the summers, my family would spend every Sunday at my grandparents beach house in Myrtle Beach. A beach house with a little B&W TV that used rabbit ears. So my parents rented a motel room for our family to watch it on TV. My parents, my grandparents, my two siblings and I were in that room watching. I remember swimming in the motel pool, diving to the bottom of the diving well and finding a quarter, a nickel and 4 pennies. I'll never forget it; I was 13 years old.
    ~rthomas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I stayed home from my summer construction job to watch the launch. I was also in front of my TV for the landing and the first moonwalk. Just working on memory -- wasn't the landing and moonwalk on a Sunday? I don't think I skipped another day of work. And as I remember it, Armstrong's historic moonwalk was several hours after the landing. Is my memory right?

    Just a few thoughts:

    -- Armstrong blew the famous first words: He planned to say "One small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind" ... instead, he left out the article and said, "One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    -- On the other hand, Armstrong saved the landings from disaster. The computer-controlled landing track would have set the lunar landing down on a boulder field (very likely a fatal blunder). He over-rode the command on manual control, extended the landing path and set the module down on a smooth patch of sand. I don't think Armstrong has ever gotten enough credit for this feat. BTW, the final seconds of the 1969 moon landing remarkably mirror the fictional moon landing in Robert Heinlein's 1950 juvenile novel "Rocket Ship Galileo" -- the computer is about to land them on a rocky patch when the young pilot overrides the computer and brings them in to a safe landing. Just another reason why Heinlein is the greatest sci-fi writer ever.

    -- Regarding that state-of-the-art technology that you talk about, I seem to recall reading that a recent Casio wrist watch contained more computing power that the computer the Apollo 11 astronauts had aboard their spacecraft.

    -- I've got to admit that growing up, seeing the space program evolve, that I never thought the moon landing would estentially end it in my lifetime. I thought we'd rapidly follow the first landing with colonies on the moon, regular Earth-to-moon shuttles and exploratory voyages to the nearest planets, especially Mars. I was planning on spending my retirement years on an O'Neill space colony. Hard to believe that 50 years after landing on the moon, we haven't done one damn thing to exploit it.
    Yeah, remember it well. You're right, it was on a Sunday, though it was 40 years ago, not 50. The other big story in the news that weekend was Senator Kennedy and the accident at Chappaquiddick where Mary Jo Kopechne died.

    I did expect that we would have been to Mars by this point. Hope to live to see that day.

  5. #5
    I was in the family room in Atlanta watching the lunar landing with the family - lying on the ugly beige, orange, & brown rug. It never entered my mind that a few short months later I would get a chance to see the astronauts in person - and get a part of Neil Armstrong's autograph.

    I also thought we would have a colony on the moon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    Well, here's what I said in the Orioles-Red Sox thread a couple of days ago. Glad you started a new thread for the topic. BTW, we've talked about this a few years ago on another July 20th.
    July 20, 1969. I spent the afternoon at Fenway Park, watching the Sox lose to the O's. This factoid has been posted several times before. Guess I'm hijacking the thread - where were you 40 years ago on that date, if you are old enough to have been alive way back then?
    I was spending that summer in Lakeville, MA, at the Ted Williams' Baseball Camp. We took a day trip to Boston to watch the Sox play that day. It was mid afternoon, mid game, when the PA announcer came on and said "The Eagle has landed!" The game stopped and a several minute standing ovation erupted. Fabulous feeling. The space walk wasn't until very late that night. They brought in a 19" television to the dining hall (back at camp) and those who wanted to stay up and watch were able, although we couldn't see much through the snowy picture and many feet away from the tiny screen. Remember that this was 1969 - no cable TV, no HD, no large screen TV's. But I wasn't going to miss it. I remember watching John Glenn's first flight in Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. I was at my friend Kenny's house. I remember hearing the horror of the Apollo 1 fire in January 1967, in which Gus Grissom, Ed White (who did the first space walk in a Gemini flight in 1965) and Roger Chaffee were all killed.

    I was a space junkie. I am amazed that I haven't flown in space yet. I'm still hoping
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    http://www.EGLEW.com


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by OZZIE4DUKE View Post
    Well, here's what I said in the Orioles-Red Sox thread a couple of days ago. Glad you started a new thread for the topic. BTW, we've talked about this a few years ago on another July 20th.


    I was spending that summer in Lakeville, MA, at the Ted Williams' Baseball Camp. We took a day trip to Boston to watch the Sox play that day. It was mid afternoon, mid game, when the PA announcer came on and said "The Eagle has landed!" The game stopped and a several minute standing ovation erupted. Fabulous feeling. The space walk wasn't until very late that night. They brought in a 19" television to the dining hall (back at camp) and those who wanted to stay up and watch were able, although we couldn't see much through the snowy picture and many feet away from the tiny screen. Remember that this was 1969 - no cable TV, no HD, no large screen TV's. But I wasn't going to miss it. I remember watching John Glenn's first flight in Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. I was at my friend Kenny's house. I remember hearing the horror of the Apollo 1 fire in January 1967, in which Gus Grissom, Ed White (who did the first space walk in a Gemini flight in 1965) and Roger Chaffee were all killed.

    I was a space junkie. I am amazed that I haven't flown in space yet. I'm still hoping
    I was a space junkie too. In grade school, we would have assembly in a big auditorium with a little tv to watch the blast off/ ocean landing of the Mercury astronauts. With Walter Cronkite. In between The Bomb exercises, walking home as fast as we could.
    ~rthomas

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    -- I've got to admit that growing up, seeing the space program evolve, that I never thought the moon landing would estentially end it in my lifetime. I thought we'd rapidly follow the first landing with colonies on the moon, regular Earth-to-moon shuttles and exploratory voyages to the nearest planets, especially Mars. I was planning on spending my retirement years on an O'Neill space colony. Hard to believe that 50 years after landing on the moon, we haven't done one damn thing to exploit it.
    We just started again. In June, we sent up a spacecraft called the Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter, which is basically the first step in sending humans back to the moon and establishing a lunar base. Some of its goals are scientific, some are exploration-related, and of course there's crossover between the two categories (the most interesting one is that the LRO will confirm or deny that there's water on the moon). The plan is to have humans back on the moon in 2020, though I'd guess 2025 is more likely.

    Agreed it's taken too long though.

  9. #9

    apollo

    Wow, some great memories ... I'd guess that almost everybody old enough (above age 10 in 1969) would remember the space program vividly. It was a MUCH bigger deal in the 1960s than today. Heck, I can remember the teacher wheeling in a TV set in one of my junior high classrooms to watch the launch of one of the Mercury missions.

    My closest connection to the space program came in the spring of 1967. I was a month or so away from my high school graduation when a NASA astronaut (I wish I could remember which one -- I don't think it was one of the Apollo 11 guys) came to our school to make a PR presentation about the space program. I've since read that the astronauts hated the PR part of their jobs, but as a spectator, we loved it. I was lucky enough to be one of three seniors picked to help him set up his presentation on the stage of our auditorium.

    He had slides and a very polished speech, but what caught me eye were the large, accurate wooden models of the Apollo spacecraft and the lunar lander.

    After his speech, we're helping him load those models back in their cases, when I asked him about the lunar module. He had demonstrated how on takeoff, the module would seperate -- the main part returning to dock with the Apollo capsule and a portion (the legs and landing frame) remaining on the moon. I asked him what NASA was planning to do with the base of the lander, thinking there might be a way to recover it.

    You have to understand one thing ... this was in late April or early May of 1967 -- just a couple of months after the Apollo 1 fire had killed Grissom, Chaffee and White. That accident had seemed to derail the manned space program -- indeed Congress was debating at that very moment about shutting it down. All of us who were very discouaged about the prospect of meeting Kennedy's orginal announced goal (a landing on the moon before the end of the decade). The space program seemed in limbo.

    I had just sat thru a one-hour presentation about how the flight and landing were planned to be executed. But it all seemed a fantasy that would never be realized.

    That's why I remember so well the words of the astronaut whose name I forget. When I asked about what we were going to do about the base of the lander, he said: "We're going to leave it there for the F$%*&# Russians to find."

    Just repeating the words doesn't convey the confidence and determination in his voice ... or the impact it had on my 17-year-old psyche. I literally felt chills go down my spine. In one instant, I went from total discouragement about the future of the space program to overwhelming excitement.

    More than anything else, that's why I stayed home in the summer of 1969 to watch the launch of Apollo 11. If they had landed on a weekday, I'd have stayed home then too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post

    That's why I remember so well the words of the astronaut whose name I forget. When I asked about what we were going to do about the base of the lander, he said: "We're going to leave it there for the F$%*&# Russians to find."

    Just repeating the words doesn't convey the confidence and determination in his voice ... or the impact it had on my 17-year-old psyche. I literally felt chills go down my spine. In one instant, I went from total discouragement about the future of the space program to overwhelming excitement.
    Great story. I love it!
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    http://www.EGLEW.com


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont

    Montreal

    Some friends and I were at lovely Parc Jarry in Montreal, watching the fabulous Montreal Expos play when the landing took place. A truly unique baseball experience, let me assure you. How often do you get to see home runs land in a swimming pool?

    Then we repaired to the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Hotel downtown for the moonwalk (no Michael Jackson sightings) where the bartender was serving up many delicious Apollo Elevens.

  12. #12
    An excellent story of Apollo 11 in today's NYT Science Tuesday. with some nice pictures

    On Hand for Space History, as Superpowers Spar

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/14/sc...n.html?_r=1&hp

    plus alot of other stories about 11

    http://www.nytimes.com/pages/science/index.html
    ~rthomas

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    An excellent story of Apollo 11 in today's NYT Science Tuesday. with some nice pictures

    On Hand for Space History, as Superpowers Spar

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/14/sc...n.html?_r=1&hp

    plus alot of other stories about 11

    http://www.nytimes.com/pages/science/index.html
    Great link! Thanks.

    My favorite paragraph
    Looking back, three of the nine Apollo lunar missions stand out from the others as especially emotional experiences. Apollo 11 made history. A bold commitment was fulfilled, and those alive then have never forgotten where they were and their feelings when humans first walked on the Moon. Apollo 13, unlucky 13, was an epic suspense unfolding in real time to a global audience. Three astronauts went forth, met disaster, faced death and barely limped back to the safety of home. And Apollo 8, as the first flight of humans beyond Earth’s low orbital confines, restored momentum and magnitude to the adventure of reaching for the Moon.
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    http://www.EGLEW.com


Similar Threads

  1. Happy 4th of July, everyone.
    By wilson in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-05-2008, 08:05 PM
  2. Eleven Factors
    By Fish80 in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 04-05-2008, 04:01 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •