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Archive for January 12th, 2009

 What can I say ?  I love the space program.

Disc 3 covers Apollo 12, Apollo 13, and Apollo 14.

Lest we tend to forget…

Apollo 12 was launched on November 14, 1969.  Aboard this flight were Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and Alan Bean.

It was Pete Conrad who asked for Alan Bean for the flight.  Alan had given up on going into space and felt he was forgotten, so for him to go to the moon was unexpected.

It is common knowledge, but oft forgotten that when Apollo 12 took off from the  pad, the weather was not the best and they were hit by lightening before ever getting into space.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, Houston was uncertain that something didn’t happen in the computers that would destroy the parachutes from ever opening during splashdown.  After much discussion they decided that if they didn’t open it would be the same results weather they went to the moon or not.. so they let them go to the moon.

Dick Gordon remained flying around the moon while Conrad and Bean went down to the moon. 

I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I was when I got to meet and talk with Alan Bean and Dick Gordon, who remain good friends all these years later.  I was (and still am) one happy woman that the lightening did not harm the ‘chutes from opening when they came home!

 

(August 13, 2005….me and Alan Bean!!  It was almost an unreal feeling to talk and touch someone who walked on the moon!)

(below:  me and Dick Gordon.  What great guys they are!  I talked with Dick about if he thought we’d go back to the moon and he said he was sure we would.  This was a few years back before they announced the plans to return to the moon)

 

 

The ill fated Apollo 13 is probably one of the most remembered missions.

 

1970.  Apollo 13… 9:06pm:    Houston, we have a problem.  Those words are embedded deep in the minds and hearts of those of us who love the space program and all it represents.  And so are the words uttered by Gene Kranz when he turned to the men in mission control and told them to find a way to get these men back to earth… Failure is not an Option!

The whole mission was one filled with stress, but never for a moment would anyone give up on getting these men home.

When they went into the time when they could not communicate during re-entry the silence was deafening.

Odyssey, Houston.. stand by over…. (silence)

Odyssey,  Houston… stand by over… (silence)

Odyssey, Houston.. stand by over… (silence)

Then came the words: OK Joe! 

Cheers filled the room but only for a moment when next everyone waited to breath once again.. will the parachutes open?

In this case: a picture is worth a thousand words!

With all that happened with Apollo 13, many forget most things about Apollo 14.

Alan Shepard.  The first man in space, who wanted desperately to go in space again had an ear problem which grounded him for many years.  Finally he had a surgery which fixed his problem and they did put him on a flight to the moon.

Ten years after his first suborbital history-making flight, Shepard overcame the serious ear infection and returned to space for only his second, and his last, flight as the commander of Apollo 14. He became only the fifth person to walk on the surface of the Moon, and the oldest at 47 years of age.

Their flight wasn’t without incident either.  As they were about to descend and land on the moon the abort light came on at Houston.  The problem being if they couldn’t get it fixed it would automatically abort them when they tried to land.   Talk about nerve-wracking!

Houston gave them a fix, but like everything else.. it was untried .  In the end it did work and Shepard got to walk (and play golf) on the moon.

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